Adapt to Grow

We often forget that the product or service we bring to market is really just the best guess we have at the time for a solution to the problem(s) we see in the market place.  

Many business owners fight against what the consumers are telling them.  Many companies dump millions of dollars and thousands of hours into trying to change the reaction in the market place.  Instead, they should consider a smart iteration and refocus their energy elsewhere.

What are you wasting your time fighting for?  What product or service are you really not selling well, or is confusing your brand with your consumers?  What could you cut or reiterate today?  Here are some resources for you to examine to find out what is ready to get your “second-best guess:”

·      What content is getting viewed most/longest/frequently on your website?  If you’re not creating unique pages for unique products/services, you’re losing out on valuable information.  If you’re not mining your site for data, you better get on that right away.

·      What are your client-facing hearing from customers?  Frontline workers learn a lot of valuable information about what the public is saying about you and your product/service.  Ask them with specific questions to get specific information. 

·      Talk with your professional network to get a sense of what is being said in the market about your company.  If it’s good or bad, dig in a little to find out what is directly contributing to the sentiment.

·      What are your employees showing you about your workplace culture?  If you’re having a hard time recruiting and retaining positions, ask trusted employees what the deal is and what you need to do to get things back on track.

·      What products/services are sucking your resources and returning little profit?  If you’re a producer, look at your COGS.  If you’re a servicer, look at your job costing worksheets, including contributive wages on each job.  Cut your lowest-earning products or stop doing the least profitable types of jobs ASAP to increase your profitability and open up resources for new opportunities. 

No one gets it perfect on the prototype.  It’s always the ones who go through versions 2.0, 3.0 and more who get the best earliest.

Sam Jacobson