If you consider what Apple did to the computer market you must admit it was quite incredible. Last week I was in London and I went into Starbucks and out of the fifty people in there about twenty were using Apple Macs, another six were on iPads and there was not a ‘normal’ laptop in sight!
Last week I was in London and I went into Starbucks and out of the fifty people in there about twenty were using Apple Macs, another six were on iPads and there was not a ‘normal’ laptop in sight!
So what has this got to do with small businesses?If you think about what Steve Jobs and his team did at Apple:-
They took a well-known product and made it different
They improve it and made it more reliable (no more crashing)
They developed a great brand and logo
They developed new complimentary products that were in an associated industry
They got people talking about their products
They charged twice as much as anyone else in the market
In truth, they did nothing that any small business could not do.So why is this?The truth is, the problem often lies with the owner of the business.Most business owners don’t even think like Steve Jobs, or Walt Disney, or Richard Branson, let alone take action.They are too busy working, to build a business that works and this is one of the biggest problems with most small businesses.
So what do you do if you own a business?The first thing to do is to change the way you think.Then you need to think about your business as though you were an external person and you would need to ask yourself a very powerful question.How can we do this better than our competitors?Do what better?Everything!
I had a great day yesterday in the offices of Dan Bradbury.
It was great to spend the day away from the office working on the business and getting the opinion of someone outside of the business. I think everyone should do this from time to time.
During the day we discussed the development of ‘business skills’. The truth is that 99% of business owners have weaknesses in their business skills (including myself) and we need to identify and improve these skills.
These skills could include:
Marketing (or as we call it – lead generation)
Sales (or as we call it – lead conversion)
Health and safety
Or any number of other skills that you need to own and to manage a successful business.
The key is that as business owners we need to develop those skills, and if we don’t the lack of skill in any one of those areas can ‘bite us in the bum’ just at the wrong time and end our business.
I have been a big fan of Robert Cialdini and his six principles of persuasion for many years.
I originally became familiar with his work years ago through, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. It’s a must read. It gave me useful tools to use for marketing to others. Influencing others isn’t luck or magic –
Influencing others isn’t luck or magic – it’s science. There are proven ways to help make you more successful as a marketer. Scientifically Proven Ways to Be More Persuasive’, a book he co-authored with Noah Goldstein, a professor at the University of Chicago School of Business, and Steven Martin, Director, Influence at Work. The authors “relied entirely on the significant body of research from the study of social influence and persuasion” to suggest ways you can improve outbound messages and office interactions to get the results you want.
The Science behind the Principles “People’s ability to understand the factors that affect their behaviour is surprisingly poor,” Cialdini says. Most people can’t explain why they made a particular decision. But Cialdini can. And being able to identify the underlying factors that influence decisions mean we also understand how to use them to get more positive responses.
Be forewarned, though: The knowledge you’re about to receive shouldn’t be used to push shoddy goods or set unfair prices. “When these tools are used unethically as weapons of influence … any short-term gains will almost invariably be followed by long-term losses.”
Below is a video of Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion.