With all the changes taking place in our economy it is important now more than ever to keep our eyes open for opportunities and different ways of doing business.
Think about breaking away from the conventional approaches you have been taking in the many different areas in your business.
Recently, I saw a clever sign at a Dairy Queen. It read:
50% off drinks
A few instructive things here.
One, they borrowed a very common business practice of restaurants and bars. Happy Hour is not something typically done at a fast food restaurant so it is attention getting in this arena.
Two, they are doing it at a time of day that is most likely their slowest and least revenue generating. Their soda fountain isn’t getting much use at this time. Hence, if they can make 50% it’s better than 0 and since soft drinks are a very profitable product, it’s a good chance they’re still making money.
Three, they have the potential to get add-on sales by simple suggestion at the drive-thru window.
All in all, this has to be a winner for them.
So how can you cultivate breakthrough ideas in your business? Here are some things you can do to uncover the hidden potential that lies in your business-
- Look at innovative, successful and profitable things that are going on in other businesses and devise a plan to implement them in yours. If it was successful for them, it can be successful for you too with some tweaking. There is a wealth of new perspectives and ideas by being observant.
- Ask yourself how you can take something you do that is mundane and make it fresh and more exciting for your customer. This will help you to outperform your competition and dominant your market.
- Always maintain an opportunistic view both inside and outside your business and industry. Often times this is easy to do with another’s business and industry because you are not as attached to it. But developing the behavior and creating the habit will eventually make it easier for you to recognize things in your own business.
- Continually ask, “How can we make this new, better, and different?” Not just for the sake of doing so but to improve the overall experience for the customer.
- Take what others see as problems and obstacles and work on what can be done to turn them into opportunities.
Your objective in all this breakthrough brainstorming is to create more value for your customers. Value is where it is at these days. People are more discriminating than ever and any additional value you can create will definitely return to you in increased sales and profits.