Nowadays, if you truly want to make a success of your business, you need to get your mindset in the right place. It is your mindset – the way you view what you want to accomplish and how you will do it – which can make the difference between you achieving, and not achieving.
When I tell clients that their mindset matters, I often get inquiring looks, and the occasional mumbled comment about why “mindset doesn’t matter”… yet the reality is, unless you’re ready and prepared to make any necessary changes, your business will stay where it is, or, worse still, will start the much-feared ‘rapid decline of businesses’ – where many (even those with promising potential), start on the slippery slope to failure.
Creating the necessary change in your business takes courage, determination and sometimes “shear bloody-mindedness” (as my Mum used to say), as well as the flexibility to react to the market, and change direction if required.
This is best demonstrated with two examples of how your mindset can mean the difference between being profitable, or being broke…
In the home furniture market, almost all stores require the customer to wait anywhere between two and five weeks for their goods to be delivered. In the bed-supply-market, this was no different, and often it was the norm for beds which were in stock!
But then, along came a bed supplier with a different mindset which set about changing the rules for the entire industry…
This particular bed supplier offered to supply beds THE SAME DAY.
This unique selling proposition (USP) created a HUGE advantage over all of their competitors. Customers could come in, choose the bed they liked from the large selection in the showroom, and, assuming it was in stock, would get their bed delivered to their home that same afternoon!
Up until this company’s offer, customers may well have expected to have to wait long lead times, but this profoundly changed the expectations of people looking to purchase a new bed. No other bed company delivered to customer’s homes within a few days, let alone the same day.
“It can’t be done. It’s not sustainable!” the competitors cried…
… and they waited for what they considered to be the inevitable fall which was bound to come within a few days – weeks at the most – once stock levels were depleted.
But this bed company was different. They had talked to consumers, and understood that they were unhappy about having to wait so long for delivery. They looked at lead times. They looked at short deliveries. They looked at same day delivery. And most importantly, they BELIEVED it could be done.
They adopted the right mindset and built their business model around it.
However, this mindset had to be in place BEFORE any change in their business could occur. And it’s this mindset you are also going to need if you want to take your business to a whole new level, the mindset to believe you can break the mould, the belief that you can make a difference, and stand against your competitors because of that belief.
Although many other bed suppliers now offer the same day and next day delivery as ‘standard’, this bed company has consistently offered same day delivery for the past 23 years!.
So, your mindset can easily make a massive difference to growth and success of your business.
But, what happens if you have a poor or stubborn mindset?
In our local area there are 86 companies who design and install kitchens. Of these, four positioned themselves at the top end of the market. They all sold at such a high price that very few people could actually afford to buy their kitchens.
When the economy took a major downturn, three of them did nothing to adapt their method of trading to respond to the changing state of the economy. Within 14 months, each of those three companies went belly up, because they refused to be flexible and adapt to the shifting environment.
Sadly, this attitude, this stubborn mindset, affected lots of other businesses which could EASILY have made it through the uncertain state of the economy, if they had only been willing to make a few quick and easy changes to the way they ran their businesses.
You can see from these two examples that your mindset can be powerful, and can work for or against you, and the results you get. To help you get the right mindset and beliefs for your business, here are four things you could keep in mind, regardless of what the economy is doing, if you want to succeed:
- There is business, local to you, to be had right now. People who are ready to buy the products and services you sell. Yes there are! You don’t have to search far and wide for new customers and clients. Focus instead on looking in your immediate geographic area. Lots of businesses are making substantial profit during this downturn. Will that include you?
- The recession creates opportunities if you know what to look for. As the saying goes, “One man’s loss, is another man’s fortune.” Recessions may cause problems for some, but create opportunities for others. In the bed company example I discussed earlier, customers didn’t like having to wait weeks for their beds, they wanted them a much quicker delivery. The true key to success is your skill at listening to what your market wants, then adapting or creating products or services which meet those needs.
- Decisions should be made based on facts. The news is FULL of doom and gloom – because (sadly) that is what sells. The Media sells on fear, instead of hope, so don’t make your decisions based on what is being said on the news. Look at the facts, and use those to make your decisions. I firmly believe that this latest global recession wouldn’t have been anywhere near as bad if the media hadn’t made such a negative issue of it in the early days.
- Be flexible and prepared to modify your business. If you aren’t prepared to adapt and do things in a different way, then it is almost certain you are going to struggle, at some time or other. You need to be prepared to change any and (if necessary) every part of your business. This could mean changing your management style, your staff, your marketing, even the goods or services you sell in order to survive.
So, which type of business are you…
… the bed company, or one of the kitchen companies?