When I first started working in the financial industry over a decade ago, the bank that I worked for talked about making their products “sticky” for their customers. They explained that the more products we sold, the stickier our company would be for them and the harder it would be for them to leave. Stickiness was their main customer retention strategy.
I now fully understand what they mean and why they focused on "stickiness." In fact, I still bank with that organization even though I haven’t worked there in nearly a decade.
But why? Because the services I have with them truly are sticky - it would be a major headache to switch banks. Read More
As a business owner, I can assume you want to grow your business.
Whether this means to increase revenue, add employees, or just see a higher sales volume than what you have done in the past, you would like to do better than what you have done in the past. This is part of being an entrepreneur - we aren’t satisfied with not growing.
But what if you could only work on three things for the entire year to help grow your business? What would those things be? Read More
I love small businesses - I advise them and have started a couple of them - but I have to admit, owning a business today is harder than ever before.
A successful business recipe used to consist of the following:
hard work + a fair price + good customer service = successful business
Now, that recipe is no longer enough. Today, we need... Read More
Pricing is something that every business must consider. Quickly pricing products without much research or consideration can help to get a product to market in a short period of time. But pricing is one of the most important elements of a successful business. And for that reason, pricing should not be a quick, haphazard process - it should be an intentional strategy.
While there are many pricing variations, there are three pricing strategies that provide the foundation for the majority of the others. As a business owner, you can easily hack your product pricing by following one or more of these three pricing strategies: Read More
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: Read More
Change is an essential element for any business today. Change is no longer viewed as merely a way to gain a competitive advantage, but is now essential just to keep up with the competition. But change isn't easy. In fact, many of us seem to have a genetic disposition to despise change. This means that, while we may intuitively agree with change, we are going to, at least initially, resist it. To ensure that change is effectively implemented in an organization, it is important to develop a process to manage change.
Every leader can develop an effective change management process by following five simple steps. Read More
Developing a sales strategy is one of the most important things you can do to increase your profits and strengthen the health of your business. A sales strategy is a pro-active means of identifying prospects. It is a carefully designed group of products that meet the needs of customers. It is an intentional effort to usher prospective customers into paying sales. In a day of increased competition, reduced barriers of entry, and overwhelming regulatory burdens, small businesses can no longer sit back and wait for customers to come to them. They must pro-actively see out sales by developing a sales strategy. Read More
Walmart leads the world as the largest and most powerful retailer. Their big box stores offer low prices and a large selection to their customers who line up to take advantage of the savings. As I explained in a recent post, Walmart has been able to offer such low prices due to their economies of scale. But it has come at an expense; their customer service is often nonexistent. And this provides an opportunity for other businesses to gain a strong market share in Walmart's shadow. One of these businesses is Target.
In this article, I am going to dissect Target's business model focus of customer service and how they have found a competitive advantage to compete with Walmart without (completely) slashing their prices. Read More
In a recent post, I discussed the importance of being aware of economies of scale. I explained that it is important to be aware of economies of scale so that we can strategically innovate our businesses to gain a competitive advantage. This becomes increasingly important as big box corporations are able to cut prices further and further so that we can no longer compete on price. The good news is that big box companies leave many "holes" in the marketplace demand that need to be filled.
Every small business can compete with the "big box" by implementing three big business hacks. Read More
Competing in the age of big box stores can be overwhelming. "Mom and Pop" stores have been run out of business by huge corporations like Walmart, Home Depot, Kroger, and yes, even Amazon. Yet, many consumers want to "shop local" and support business owners. But how can a small business compete with the big box giants of today? By applying strategic innovations to their businesses.
But first, we must understand why it is important to have an awareness of economies of scale.
I first learned of the concept of "economies of scale" in my high school business class. It was explained to me in basic terms that big businesses gain efficiencies from being large that make it difficult for small businesses to compete. While economies of scale include things like a knowledge base, expertise, distribution, partners, and advertising, one of the biggest challenges small business owners have in competing with giant retailers is price.
Several years ago, a friend of mine owned a game store where they sold all types of games, both common and unique. He was able to dig into a niche market and were experiencing success.
At the time, the game "Apples to Apples" was brand new and building momentum. My friend started offering this game early on before Read More