Have you ever watched the television series called Suits?
I don’t indulge in a whole lot of TV, but boy, I love this series…
In Season 1, Episode 6, the duo super team Harvey Specter and Mike Ross find themselves defending a woman who has been accused of insider trading.
As these shows usually go, there’s a variety of twists, turns, and drama, but in the end the lady was innocent and it turns out that the VP was the one breaking the rules, right under the nose of the head honcho.
As Harvey discloses the findings to the boss, the boss says, “Harvey, I just want you to know that I had no clue any of this was going on.”
Harvey looks right at him and says something very profound. He says, “It’s your job to know.”
That really resonated with me, especially in business.
Ignorance is not bliss. In fact, what you don’t know WILL hurt you.
Take a few of these iconic brands…
Blockbuster, who weathered the transition from VHS to DVD without missing a beat, but failed to innovate for the digital age.
Or take Dell, who saw the Internet’s power and cut out the middleman and to start selling direct to consumer, and watched as sales skyrocketed, leaving IBM in the dust. But now, a decade later, failing to recognize that consumers demand end-to-end service, trendy products, and more than just hardware, they’re behind the pack.
Or how about Kodak, who ruled the camera industry for nearly a century, but failed to innovate and now is but a glimpse in everyone’s mind.
Do you remember the Motorola Razr? It holds the record for highest selling mobile phone, but despite Motorola’s domination, they failed to innovate phones that could handle email and data, and is now all but a memory in the mobile space.
Or how about Sears? Stores are closing all around us; despite many attempts over the years to enter different markets and find their way, they simply haven’t been able to keep up with the times.
Do you remember the Sony Walkman? There was a time when it was what the iPod is today. (Or yesterday; the iPod industry is also changing.)
I could go on and on, from Yahoo to MySpace to AOL, a list of once mega-brands, household names, and immense power-houses… but big names are closing all around us.
I’ve always believed that it should not have been some random guy to invent Uber, it should have been the taxi companies, those in that business already, those who understand it and live it every day. They are the ones who should have been paying attention, who should have innovated.
It’s the hotel industry that should have innovated, seen the trends, and come up with Airbnb.
If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s your job to constantly be on the lookout for the next big thing, and be willing to expand your mind to things that may right now seem silly.
Now let’s get one thing clear…
I’m not saying you need to completely reform your business. I’m not saying throw out the baby with the bathwater. I’m not saying you should stop what you’re doing and switch it all up.
But what I am saying is that you should be OPEN and WILLING, and at least get your feet wet.
Going from fully brick and mortar to opening an online shop is innovating, it’s changing how you’ve done things to how things are done today, or in the future.
It’s realizing that an online presence isn’t just about throwing up a few pages you made in your basement, or years ago before the advent of responsive websites.
It’s about creating an experience for the end user that will impress them, while still telling your story. If you still have an old tombstone website, I suggest you take a deep, hard look at what’s holding you back and face those fears dead on. AND, if you’re going to revamp your website, please, for your consumer’s sake, don’t go for pretty over effective! Make sure your website is both visually stunning, and marketing driven.
Innovation can be as simple as stepping out of your comfort zone and creating a Facebook page.
I’m amazed that I still, on a daily basis, meet business owners who flat out tell me they’re too nervous to break into Facebook because they don’t know where to start, they don’t want to screw it up, and they don’t like how they have no control of negative reviews and what people say.
And those are all accurate statements…
You don’t have any control of the reviews, but whether you’re on Facebook or not, those reviews are being left, comments are being made, and things are being said. That’s part of life.
But being online, being active and engaged on Facebook provides you with the opportunity to address those comments and show the world that you’re not afraid to do whatever it takes to keep your clients happy.
If someone was saying something about your business, would you rather it be behind your back? That’s what happens when you aren’t at the place they are voicing their thoughts—like Facebook.
Now, I want to make a very important point here…
Just being “on Facebook” is not enough. In fact, if you aren’t doing it right, you risk doing more harm than good.
Facebook is like the modern day version of the local Pub, where people go to socialize.
Too many companies post nothing but offers, specials, promos, self-boasting sales crap all day long—and they wonder why no one engages with them, and why they just don’t see the ROI.
Think of it this way, if you walked up to someone at the Pub, and instead of engaging them in conversation, you started telling them about all your specials, discounts, and sales pitches, would they keep talking to you? Or up and walk away?
Facebook is no different. It’s called Social Media for a reason—so be social. Tell your story, engage with your prospects, add value, and show them that you appreciate them.
But for heaven’s sake, don’t act like the guy who’s selling life insurance at a funeral—it makes everyone cringe.
Being effective on Facebook is a true art, and it takes true story telling skills because visitors can choose to leave your page forever if you don’t give them a reason to stay.
If you’re serious about your online presence, take a look at our Social Media Management stuff HERE.
One last point…
Innovation doesn’t mean you need to make drastic changes and completely revamp your whole industry.
You could innovate the way you bill or collect.
You could innovate the way you run your marketing campaigns.
You could innovate the way you serve food.
You could innovate the way you display your merchandise.
You could innovate the way you handle inbound calls.
You could handle the way you talk to people.
You could innovate the way you sell stuff.
You get the point…
There are a million and one areas you could innovate. Some are just small changes, some are major, but you should always be open to trying new things.
Especially in a world where the rate of change is faster than it’s ever been before in the history of mankind.
Now, if you need a hand, don’t know where to start, how to execute it, or are looking for ways to validate your ideas, let’s talk, I’m here to help. I’m passionate about all things business, and always love a good, stimulating conversation. If you’re local, let’s meet for coffee. If you’re not, let’s schedule a call and talk about the top 2-3 things are holding you back.
I don’t believe in claiming that I can fix your problems without first learning about you, your business, etc. A doctor would never prescribe a solution without first taking a look at what the problem is—that would be malpractice.
So let’s talk, and let’s get you moving forward.
Call us at (705) 662-0836, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To your success,
CEO RYS Group
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