Select

Customers-Clients-Work

Selecting

It seems to me that you’re better off finding a path that doesn’t require you get picked in order to succeed – Seth Godin

One of the challenges in business is finding the customers/clients that the business wants to work with. The same is true in the personal work environment….many folks want someone or some business to pick them.

The challenge is to select the people you want to do business with….from a marketing perspective it’s how to “position” your business (or yourself). Often a business has the wrong customers….the business doesn’t grow….the customers are not willing to get better or different.

In our family business, we always had to be alert as to compete at a level we were not comfortable with….either at the low-end or at the high-end.

Memorial Day

2013

Ben Ringsdorf

Ben and I were Air Force OTS classmates at Lackland AFB, TX.

Ben was a F-4 pilot and a long-term POW. Ben became a respected MD after his return from Vietnam.

This is the real reason for Memorial Day

Note: The 40th POW reunion was held at the Nixon Foundation Library in CA. My friend, Bill, also a long-term POW was in attendance.

Ice Cream

McConnell’s Ice Cream & Yogert

McConnells

Who doesn’t like ice cream? Almost every locale has a different  ice cream business. McConnell’s Ice Cream was founded in 1949 in Santa Barbara, CA. Follow the history story line:

http://www.mcconnells.com/mchistory/

Every business has an unique selling proposition….with McConnell’s it’s how the ice cream is made….good ingredients….specialty flavors….longevity….and of course its location-Santa Barbara, CA.

http://www.mcconnells.com/

Consistent

Expectation

Consistent

Being consistent is the mark of a good business….hit the bullseye all the time. We just returned from lunch at one of Cary’s local restaurants. These folks have been at the same location for many years….and have been usually consistent in their products.

Except of course today. The lunch did not meet what we have usually expected. Unfortunately, they missed the bullseye. I did have the opportunity to mention it at the time….yet neglected to do so (though should have).

We will give these folks another opportunity….to reset their prior excellent standard….trusting that exceeding expectations will pay significant dividends (more return visits).

Blueberry Pancake

PSF

blueberry-pancakes-014

 

From Seth Godin:

“The typical professional services company (firm) PSF, on the other hand, is a lot like a blueberry pancake. While there’s an essential support team, the firm is all about blueberries working in parallel. Each blueberry can work independently, and sometimes they even work on projects that might have conflicting outcomes or views of the world. I don’t care how many people report to you. I care about how connected and how brave you are.”

“As the firm gets bigger, it doesn’t get thicker. You don’t make a better pancake by making a thicker one. You make a better pancake by hiring ever better blueberries.”

“And, as you’ve guessed, most of the blueberries don’t know exactly what they’ll be doing in six weeks, and most don’t work from a manual about the industry’s best practices on how to do what they do. It’s hard to measure blueberries, but a talented and motivated one can also change the world.”

Change the world is a big order….yet being better and different is very doable. Of course finding the right people (blueberries) is the key element of what Seth says.

In any business/organization….be the blueberry and find more blueberries. That’s what makes a great business.

Lead Up

In many ways, we get the bosses and clients we deserve. If they’re holding you back, change them – Seth Godin

success

Lead up sounds like an unique concept. Yet, it has a solid foundation. If a business/organization isn’t growing in one form or anoether….the answer may be to find other customers (clients)/members.

In the ABRES program at Ballistic Systems Division….we had a boss who really had no business being in his postion….who had no experience in the R&D business. Roy my cubie mate was exasperated with him….though since he was on flight status…..he could escape from time-to-time.

While we couldn’t change him….we found a work-around….so we weren’t held back.

In our family business….at times we had to find different customers….who were the kind of customers that would purchase our products. While it be counter to traditional thinking….changing clients….customers,,,,bosses may well be the answer to redirecting a business/organization.

Great idea from Seth Godin

Meijer

Meijer200th Store

Meijer, Inc. is the superstore chain in the midwest and is privately held. Annual sales of $12B+. Meijer was founded in Greenville, MI and its main offices are in Walker, MI. Stores are in MI, OH, IL, IN, KY and planned for WI.

Compared to Wal-Mart….Meijers is relatively small. Yet, Meijer competes very well against Wal-Mart….for these reasons:

  • Concentrates its resources in five states.
  • They know their customers.
  • Have always had good customer service.
  • Private corporation….so can take a long-term view.
  • Strong values instilled by the Meijer family.
  • Supports the community.

Has Meijer had some miscues….yes. Yet, over the years they have conducted business responsibly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meijer