Whenever business promotion is mentioned, businesses often get told to be unique and show your true self. You’ll often hear “Share your Why”. Simon Sinek’s well known Ted Talk goes into detail of finding the value of your why and how to find it.
But in other circles you also hear why reinvent the wheel? Check what your competition is doing and do it better. We as human beings love patterns, and our behaviours reflect our need for patterns and standardisation. Businesses do not like change, but that doesn’t mean doing the same as everyone else either.
When we look at businesses, we need to know one size does not fit all. As human beings we like our routines, our comforts. Even as a digital nomad, you will find a way of setting up routines to live. Every day you start working you may do the same things each day. You wake up around the same time, your morning routine will be quite set.
Your Business Structure
You probably start your business day the same way, and although the people you talk to may vary, the way you go about your day probably will be quite structured. There will be some form of diary to guide you on what you need to do, a to-do list perhaps on your desk or an electronic list that gives you instant satisfaction when you complete your tasks.
Routine is not bad, and as a business the more structure you have the more efficient you will be. As a support business, Blue Ninja are very familiar with what can be recommended and encouraged, and what could be a struggle to implement as the client is not ready for change. Have you ever bought a piece of software that someone recommended would be perfect for your business (or you were sold on it with clever sales techniques), but you couldn’t get it working for you? You are definitely not alone, and often it can be impulsive purchase because you don’t have much time to give it a lot of thought but know you need something.
We’re going to give you some ideas about how to be reactive to what you do need as a business.
There are a lot of products competing for the same business
Let’s look at CRMs as an example of products competing for the same business. CRM stands for customer relationship management, and CRM software is used to help business track leads and customers. If you type in CRM into a browser, 228 million results come back (in Google at least). You’ll start to see ‘top CRMs for business’ or you will see CRM’s that write articles about CRMs in order to get to the top of the results list.
The problem you have is working out what will help your business. Products are designed to be shiny and show off the best features, which often most software will show the same best features. You need to start to dig and test to find out what’s really going on beneath that shine and advertising sparkle.
Use our Software Comparison Table to help you pull out key elements of what you need the product to do for you. Make sure you do a trial of the product and check what you need it to do versus what it does. Also make sure you know what product elements you will get on your plan. Ask a lot of questions and don’t rush your decision.
Last Minute Offers are never a good idea
We are bombarded by advertising these days. Unless you switch everything off and stay in a dark room, it’s hard to avoid it. Revenue models are built around exposure – it’s how online companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google and YouTube generate income. Do you feel as a business you should be advertising online? I know we do.
Part of the problem is the instant sell. Buy Now! Last Offer! You’ll never get another chance like this! It’s intimidating, it’s tiring, and we don’t have much time to process what we think versus what we see. Research often goes out the window and the final decision ends up being an impulsive one.
Smallbizgenius.net advises that worldwide digital ad spending is predicted to reach over $375 billion by 2021. That is expected to rise by $75 billion USD over the next two years. Businesses are essentially being told to spend or be left behind. People are bombarded by thousands of ads a day, that’s ridiculous when you think about it – you can’t possibly process all that information and chances are you don’t.
Something that catches your eye has been specifically designed to. It’s appealing, it speaks to your heart, it fits who you are…. most likely because your information has designed that ad to appear before you because of your likes and interests. How often have you thought ‘how do they know that’? It’s because of your search habits – its’ takes a second now to register that you like something because you Googled it, for that to appear in your social media feeds.
Communication is critical when deciding what you need for your business
Have you ever been in a situation where someone has made a poor decision without you, but it greatly affects you? The Blue Ninja team have experienced this countless times over the years. Someone with buying power makes a decision without consulting others, then finds out that the decision has no support.
Think of the decisions you make for your business as mini projects. What is the goal of the project? Let’s use buying coffee for your business as an example. The goal is to provide coffee for your employees.
- Are your team all in the same location?
- Will you use a machine or provide a way of making the coffee such as a plunger or press?
- If a machine is available, what coffee needs to be used with the machine?
- How much will 1 cup of coffee cost? Times by x days of the year times by x people who will drink coffee
- What about those that don’t drink coffee – what will you offer them instead?
- Do you need a fair use policy for those that like drinking 5 cups for every 2 cups others drink?
- Would you allow people to claim for other types of coffee options?
Phew, that’s a lot to think about! By breaking this down into a mini project you can start to assess how much it will cost and compare coffee machines. However, you must also talk to the team about what they want. Make sure you get buy-in on your choices as without buy-in, you could waste a lot of money buying something your team doesn’t want.
You may also discover most don’t want coffee so you should be redirecting your efforts into what the team does want. All these factors will help you make informed choices that involve communication and a structured decision-making process. Any type of decision can involve this mini-project structure. By understanding your own requirements, you can make informed decisions that greatly benefit your business.
What makes your business stand out?
We know that one size does not fit all business – these are things like products, software, customer service, down to the types of coffee you buy! Your decisions, your business. You’ll have a lot of people trying to influence you to take their advice, but it’s ultimately your choice about what you want to do.
What about risk? Business risk is always a difficult area to navigate because it ultimately comes down to choice, what is your risk appetite? Will you take out that loan? Is bringing in this consultant a good idea? By not acting you could miss out on a hugely beneficial opportunity. You need to be able to pull together your structure and strategy to help you make informed choices that benefit your business. A clear set of plans, actions and goals that outlines how a business will compete in a particular market, or markets, with a product or number of products or services.
I’m sure you’ll have noticed businesses can have personality. It makes them stand out – like Google, who has a creative team solely for the doodles at the top of their search box.
You don’t need to pay a huge amount of money to stand out, you just need to show who you are as a business. Standardise your design, keep it consistent so people know it’s you simply by seeing something you’ve done. Demonstrate your creative side – engage a photographer to help convey your business and to show people who you are visually. Build a team of people that talk about and promote your business because they believe in it.
Build your followers and supporters up so they talk about your business and tell others about it. Talk about your business and network. There are so many ways of demonstrating that your business is different and interesting, regardless of what your business does. Be authentic and honest, people will respond.