Small Business Leaders HeadsUp! | Non-Conformist | Extraordinary Business

15

Jan
2013

Non-Conformist | Extraordinary Business

Getting ahead in business requires doing not what everyone else is doing but doing things differently

Take the road less traveled Have you ever been to an event where they gave you a check list of “stuff” that you absolutely need to do in order to “take your business to the next level?” Did they almost guarantee that you would be able to achieve whatever goals you set out for yourself by implementing their recommendations? Did they show you dozens of people and testimonials of people who used the system, followed the steps and became overnight successes?

In the words of Dr. Phil, “How did that work out for you?”

As an entrepreneur, you probably know that not everything works for every one or every business. Just like humans, every business has its own DNA that responds slightly different to its environment. Sure, there are some general rules that you can and probably should follow. Everyone should brush their teeth; every business should let its target audience know that it exists. In either case, however, the tactics could be different.

Be a non-conformist. Non-conformity is what allows businesses to break out of the pack to become extraordinary. Non-conformity means that while everyone is following the rules, you are in your garage building Microsoft or out flying a kite in an electrical storm, or floating across the “Big Pond” to “discover” a new world.

Being a non-conformist isn’t limited to what you do; non-conformity might be displayed in how you answer the phone (value chain), how you build and market your products (positioning), your manufacturing (cost advantage, sustainability), your technology (speed and efficiency = cost)or any number of metrics.

This is why companies embark on building strategic planning. It isn’t just to get over the next hump or hill, but rather, to look at the marketplace, the industry, the company and competitors and figure out where the holes exist. This is because when you introduce something new to the marketplace before anyone else does, you have a strategic advantage. Why is a strategic advantage important? It may be that price of your widget is no longer an issue. The marketplace may be willing to pay a little bit more because of the perceived value.

Alternatively, if you are able to operate more efficiently and reduce your costs, you can potentially keep your price at the same price as your competitors or drop your price below what they can offer and cause them to do things differently.

Either way, if you have done something that is truly unique, that creates some value for your customers, that will give you strategic advantage in the marketplace – and are willing to continue to do so, you will be in the position to increase market share, revenue and profits…which is the point, right?

Strategic planning isn’t some elementary academic exercise that results in a big fat document sitting on your office; it is a tool that you will use to grow your company into one that is extraordinary.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Atlanta, Georgia based Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We help business leaders DESIGN | CREATE | BUILD extraordinary businesses.  We support our clients with financial management, product and service production and delivery, outsourced services management, sales & marketing and business growth.  We provide them with a number of flexible solutions to help them reach their goals.

Join us for a Coffee & a Consult, to learn more about Aepiphanni and how we might help you move your company from existing to extraordinary.

 

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  1. You are so right that many people simply go through the motions when putting together a business plan. A key to success is that the person at the top of the organization really believe in the importance of planning and communicate this all the way down the line so that everyone else believes in it too. Finding a hole is the key, but it is a hard thing to do. Any suggestions on how to look for these holes? It almost seems like looking for a needle in a haystack. It also definitely requires thinking outside the box.

    • Hi, Mary – thanks so very much for your comment! I believe it has everything to do with organizational culture – getting everyone on your team out looking and submitting ideas. You may even wish to tie it to a compensation program or make it part of the employee revue process. As you said – this type of thinking comes from the top down – through word and deed.

      I find it nearly consistent that people want to be part of something larger than themselves, to contribute something meaningful and to leave a legacy. Programs like these give them every opportunity to do so, and gives the leadership multiple sets of “eyes” to find those holes.

      Yes – they are like trying to find needles in a haystack…but they are out there.

      Have an extraordinary day!

      ~Rick