27 January 2008

Go to successful businesses and find out why they are successful

This is good advice and again it is along the themes of becoming an excellent business observer. Whenever you come across a really successful business, perhaps they have won an award or your family and friends are talking about it or there the business may have been featured in the newspaper or on television, I suggest that you pay the business a visit.

What they sell really doesn’t matter but how they run the business does. What make it so successful? Why do people keep coming back? Why does it win awards?

You need to go in armed (metaphorically speaking of course) to find out their secrets and to see if you can apply any of them to your business. Often finding out why a business does well is not that clearly obvious on first inspection but from my own experience, it is generally a range details that make the difference. It is the attitude of the staff, it is the attention to detail and it is the inviting and welcoming feel of the business and most importantly, their customers expectations are not only met but exceeded. Rarely is it the fact that they are the cheapest, a misconception that many business owners are far too preoccupied with.

Becoming a good observer of anything takes time and training. A quick walk around a successful business might give you a few clues but you need to really go a little deeper – give them a call and make an enquiry – how do they handle it and most importantly, after the call did you feel like going to this business? Take the time to get to know the business, listen to the sales staff, buy something from them and see how it is handled, or ask a few difficult questions. Whatever you do, try get a very good feeling for the business.

Make a list of what you feel makes this business so good at what it does and beside each of the points indicate if it could be applied to your business. Then set about implementing them.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY? We all know about those businesses that seem to be considered the best at what they do (hopefully it’s yours). Well find one that is considered very successful and pay it a visit. Go there with your observers hat on and try to clearly identify what makes this business so good at what it does.

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