Change is never easy. But change is essential to keeping up with the competition. Especially for small businesses who must compete against the economies of scale of large corporations. Change doesn't have to be a major production or significant undertaking with months of planning and the use of major resources - change can be accomplished through business hacking.
Business hacks are the micro-elements of innovation and strategy. When added together piece by piece, business hacks can provide for a large, substantial change. Just like a marathon is run one step at a time.
The following are three ways to quickly hack your business today:
Customer Service Hacks
The first way to hack your business is to implement a simple change in customer service. This could include a uniform greeting that all employees say to customers walking into the store.
For example, Moe's Southwest Grill is famous for yelling "Welcome to Moe's" when a customer walks into the store. This customer service hack sets Moe's apart from the competition, providing for a customer service competitive advantage.
The second way to hack your business is to introduce a new product. This new product should be something unique - something exciting.
What would your response be if the local hardware had a helicopter kit (build-it-yourself) or hot air balloon for sale? Or, what if that same hardware store gave away a different product (like a grill) each month based on per visit customer entries?
But a product hack doesn't have to be extremely expensive. I used to work at a bank that had a popcorn machine in the main lobby. There were customers that came into the lobby just to stop at the popcorn machine, giving us an opportunity to have face-time with customers we may have otherwise, not seen.
A product hack should provide an incentive for customers to business with you even if that specific product doesn't make you major amounts of revenue.
The third way to easily hack your business is to implement a pricing hack.
A pricing hack is an adjustment in pricing that does one of two things: 1) increases the volume of sales or 2) increases the revenue of sales.
Fast food restaurants often package products together in the form of "value" meals. These value meals often provide multiple products (entree, side, drink) for a cost that is more than two of the products individually (entree and side), but less than all three together.
The benefit of these packages is that the store sells more entrees, drinks, and sides as the perceived value is a better deal than buying an individual item.
Price hacking can provide for a quick competitive advantage over the competition.
Business hacking is just that - one innovation or strategy at a time. While the concepts of innovation and strategy can feel overwhelming at times, business hacks are a simple way to make an immediate incremental change in your business.