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Feel the Burn

Working out doesn’t require a trip to the gym. Taxed muscles and a sweaty brow can happen anywhere. To make it count, however, you have to intentionally push yourself past the point of physical exhaustion, and engage your brain in the fight. You only really start doing yourself some good after it hurts. It’s the same with business.

You can work hard all day every day, but until you’ve pushed yourself to the limit, you have not tapped into all the value you are able to provide to your customers…and you (like you muscles) won’t grow.

The industries that our clients represent stretch across a broad spectrum. Whether you have a restaurant or sell hula hoops, there is an ongoing opportunity to stay “businessly fit”. The key is to communicate with your customers, listen to their feedback, improve their experience, and provide more value than the competition.

A recent study showed that 40% of customers were dissatisfied with post-sale communication. There is a huge opportunity there, not only to reduce that number, but to use that feedback to grow your business. The more differentiating substance you provide, the more stable and profitable your company will become. It may make you sweat; but, the results will feel like a shower and lemonade after successfully wrestling an alligator in the swamp. What could be better than that?

You may think that you are providing all the communication and value possible already. You may be right; but, it’s not likely. There is almost always a reserve tank…something untapped. Each of us comes into business with unique experience, education, skills, and insight. Are you using all of them in your business? If not, there is an opportunity to do more.

Before your next long hard day, take a moment to reflect on what you bring to the table. Find ways to create more value for your customers. Think about what they have told you along the way. You may want to take a class to expand your knowledge. Maybe you could be more descriptive on your website, or provide additional options for your products or services.

Yesterday, I spoke with someone who sells the cutest little crocheted animals. It’s a fantastic new business. But, I talked with her about what else she could do, about different yarns and fillings, washing instructions and having an organic option. Was that in complete alignment with her business principles and more valuable to her customers? Yes. And guess what? It was a lot easier than doing another grueling rep of weight lifting. That means there is still ingenuity in reserve that could be used to make that small business the best it can be.

Marketing is just a big fat road sign. It’s up to you to be amazing when the tourists pull into to your business. To do that, you will have to feel the burn, and use everything left in your tank. Trust me, it will feel great; and, the success it brings will help you refuel.