“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” -Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company
Every business wants profit growth, but it is very unlikely that can be achieved without change. If you’ve been working the same way for many years, it’s possible that you and your staff have an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. The reasons vary from change is hard and disruptive, to it is easier to do nothing, or even, you are making enough money and you simply don’t care. However, if you want to grow your business, you as the owner need to lead the charge. Just hoping that your “horse” can be made to run faster is pointless.
You have to think outside of the box. People don’t know what they want or need until you show them. Your customers have “jobs” that arise regularly and need to get done. You need to sale your customers a solution to their problems, not simply a part. In order to understand your customer’s problems and offer them solutions you need to take a walk in their shoes. No technique helps you to understand your customers better than walking a mile in their shoes. To do that, truly stop and consider your customers, their day in and day out activities. Think about what problems may arise for them, or what “jobs” they may need done. Doing so should reveal lots of insights and potential opportunities for you. If Henry Ford had not thought differently, not thought outside of the box, or not walked in his future customer’s shoes, he would not have created a car for everyone, and transportation would not be as we know it today.
Will you continue to just take Henry Ford’s quote at face value, while disregarding all of your customer’s needs? Will you continue offering just products and parts that not many need or will you put first things first and take the time necessary to examine your business? Will you walk a mile in your customer’s shoes and look for a solution to their problems?
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. You may have to take dramatic steps to change the way your business works, if you want to grow your profits.
It takes courage to embrace new ideas, but if history is a guide, the go-getters always win.