What do Samsung, Apple and HTC have in common? What do Teleflora, FTD and BloomNet have in common? These companies are pack leaders and recognised authorities or top brands in their niches and industries.
Why is that? What makes these companies tick? How are they able to consistently achieve great and enviable results? How can you learn from them? What can you do to stand out too?
Most businesses suffer from the “sameness illness”. Businesses who lead play by different rules. They have higher standards and play for higher stakes. How can you evolve and become one of the main players in your industry, whether on a local or national stage.
1. Get Your Basics Right
What are your foundation principles? What is your company particularly skilled at? What do you do better than every other company in the same niche and industry?
Jim Collins in his book, Good to Great talked about the Flywheel concept and how when you keep turning the flywheel, it’ll get to the point where its momentum will take over. This is a very crucial point. You need to find your flywheel first.
2. Dare to Be Different
Nowadays, it seems everyone is getting advice from the same source. It’s almost as if there’s no real difference in thoughts and thinking.
If anything, most people and businesses prefer conformity to being different. When you look at it deeply, this is the single biggest reason why many businesses struggle.
Seth Godin once talked about why it is always better to have more bad and bizarre ideas that work than the usual boring, ineffective tripe that everyone is preaching about. Dare to be different!
3. Get on the Edge of Technology
Most companies that are doing well now either have the most recent technology or have integrated the old technology so smoothly that the company runs like a well-oiled machine.
Keep your ears and eyes peeled for new and emerging technologies. Most importantly, explore how you can adopt and apply them to your business before your competition does.
This is how you stay ahead of the crowd. This is how you stand out. This is how you become the leading expert in your industry and niche.
4. Personalise Your Service
I read an article today about a pilot who sent a handwritten thank you letter to an actress for being one of their most frequent flyers. And it struck me that businesses aren’t doing this more. No personal touch, nothing different.
Here’s the reality, customers are becoming even more discerning and choosy. They want to do business with the small business owner than the big conglomerate. Why? Because they feel they’ll get a more personalised service from the business.
There’s a shortage of the personal and you can take advantage of it. For instance, if you own a website and have a list of subscribers on your floral list, make sure to periodically send them customised and personal thank you messages every quarter.
No one is doing this right now. Why they aren’t, I don’t know. But do this and you can be sure that your customers’ loyalty quotient will surge upwards in your favor than your competition’s if you do this more frequently.