Updated: Nov 18, 2020
“Think outside of the box” is another very catchy phrase, but one that has propelled so many of our successful individuals and business ahead of the pack. What this speaks of is innovation(new ideas and inventions) and innovation is what allows you to experience growth and allow you to standout amongst your peers, your competitors.
But it isn't always the responsibility of the leader to create these new ideas, we have a wealth of resources to tap into, one of them being our greatest influencers - our customers.“Customers for life”, is what your slogan should be; because it is these customers that allow your business to exist and succeed. We receive so many opportunities to be a part of and affect the lives of our clients. They get married, graduate, interview for new jobs, have children, retire...these are all occasions to celebrate. If you truly want a customer for life, you need to be there at every crucial point. Help build lasting relationships that translate into loyalty and loyal customers will never leave you and will also be your greatest ambassador. So take these occasions and build services, events and promotions. You can use this opportunity to offer new product items or to try out a new service. Customer feedback forms should not be tucked away or used only when you want to know what you're doing wrong. But really scan them and use them to get ideas from you clients as to what they would like to experience...you'd be surprised what you might discover.
You can try this with your team as well and maybe monthly feature someone's idea. Have team brainstorming session every so often, these are also great team-building exercises and it is also crucial to ensure that your staff, your team, feel that they are contributors to the companies successes. This will also encourage them to be loyal to the company and help in marketing who you are to potential customers.
To be truly successful you need to be distinctive. You have to make yourself stand out from the rest, let them take notice and say “that is a great idea, I should try it”. Sometimes these ideas succeed, sometimes they don't, but you will be recognized for putting it out there and taking the risk.
We often hear the term “there are never any bad ideas” and this is very true. Not all ideas may be appropriate or executable in its original form, but there is always the opportunity to tweak it, vamp it a bit, make it fit. Never throw an idea away...write it down and revisit it. You never know when the time might be right to fully explore it.
How do you define your business? What makes you unique, special? What's your THING? Where many businesses lose the battle, is right from the on set. Before you open your doors you should have a clear picture of the image that you want your guest/clients to have of you. This image is a complete experience. It touches all of the senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. There are so many tools that you have to work with, textures, colors, flavors, lighting...The main thing is that the concept has to be right. No one should have to try to figure out what you are about, it should be apparent. They should feel it. The mention of your name conjures up a vision of your product/service/space.
The best way to start is to get a pen and note pad and start writing down your ideas. Read, write and rewrite. Allow the concept to develop and unfold. Test it, make sure it works. Use your friends, colleagues, family and strangers. You want to ensure that everything connects and that there is a logical flow to it. Your name, for example is an easy way to design your business. You can use a word or phrase that is easy to visualize and build from there. It might automatically reflect a color(s), denote sound, embody flavors or trigger a scent and therefore giving a great base to build from.