At the weekend I went to a conference that had a presentation by Mike Harris. He has made huge leaps in three major businesses in his career… he introduced the first telephone banking that would be available 24/7. We take it for granted now but at the time the attitude was, ” why would anyone want to do banking in the middle of the night and not through their branches?” The Independent newspaper were very scathing initially, stating in it’s headline “First Direct, the Bank for Insomniacs”.
Having had one incredibly successful launch of First Direct Mike then went on to set up the first proper internet bank, Egg and subsequently at Mercury Communications. In each case he has had a bold vision of the seemingly impossible.
His book “find your lightbulb” is a great support for coaching where you have a specific idea. he says start with the final chapter…as though it had already been achieved and work backwards. he should know he has implemented something completely new.. or at least a completely different way of doing something a number of times very successfully. As you know if you have been following these blogs that is the approach suggested in an earlier question.
For your business, taking into account the answers you have had from your previous questions about the threats and opportunities in the market, who your ideal client is and your unique selling point ( why people should buy from you).. ask yourself this question..
“If money were no object and it could make life so easy what would my ideal client really like in relation to my market?”
So Mike Harris knew that there was a market of stressed office workers who couldn’t get to a bank when it was shut but needed to sort out their finances. He also knew that he needed to recruit and retain intelligent and enthusiastic employees on the end of a line to deal with the customers. Not surprisingly First Direct has been a real success story and still exists today.
If you are a therapist, what would your ideal customer really like? Maybe a shorter massage after work on a Friday before going out ( could you do a chair massage?) or they don’t really want to drive to and from your premises.. could you do a deal with the local ( luxury) private hire company who can pick the client up and drop them back home again ( which you would charge a premium for of course!)? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that there are no people with money out there – there are but they may be more cautious now.
So be as creative as you like, brainstorm some ideas, without passing judgment… you could of course go to where a group of your potential clients hang out and treat them like a focus group, to find out what needs are unmet…. although in my experience it is often the “off the wall suggestions” that people don’t think about.
What services/ benefits of other businesses could you translate to your business… taking the banking example… what about having 24 hour holistic massage for local stressed out business people ( of course you would have to be careful how you market that one!!!!) especially if they have just come off a transatlantic flight and are jet lagged and can’t sleep a relaxing holistic massage maybe ideal!
Look at the most successful companies in any business area and ask
” What can I learn from them/ adapt from that?”