Like many people, I fancy myself as a bit of a sleuth. Maybe it’s my inner , gossip or would-be-007 but I love a good mystery or who-dunnit.
I’m like this in real life too. I’m not talking real-life crime but the softer type of mysteries such as games, riddles and puzzles. It might be a jigsaw or a crossword puzzle or on a daily basis, it’s applying the mystery-solving lens to businesses to figure out what they’re doing wrong and how they could do it better.
Like all good super-sleuths this involves some reconnaissance. This means when I am at a café, retail store, online store or engaging in any type of transaction I’m often analysing what they’re doing that I like, what they’re doing that I don’t love and how this could be applied either to my business or those business owners that I work with.
I know that many business owners don’t do this because I ask them. Sure they might realise that they enjoy engaging with a particular type of business. They might even think what a good idea doing something a particular way is. But they don’t take it to the last step which is asking, how can I apply this great experience to my business? Or even in a bad experience, ensuring that they’re not annoying customers in their own business with similar behaviour.
I think becoming a sleuth as a business owner is a great thing. That’s because it’s often the great things that people are doing outside your industry that you can adopt in your business that can set you apart. Too often business owners simply look to copy what people are doing inside their industry but that just makes you a watered down version of what they’re doing. Instead, by imitating and adapting great things business owners outside your industry are doing you can set yourself apart and become an innovator and game-changer within your own industry.
And they don’t have to be revolutionary ideas. It might be the hospitality you receive from your hairdresser, the quirky way a menu is displayed at your local café or how another business is operating online. It’s about taking the best of what you’re experiencing and seeing if the ideas can somehow be used in how you engage with your customers.
So this week, why not engage in some super-sleuthing of your own. Then take the ideas back to your team (or your kitchen table) and work out what you can do to continue to set your business apart.
Tags: business, business by design, business owner, business trends, entrepreneur, marketing, mystery, women in business