When it comes to owning a business, I’ll admit I’m not much of an expert. In fact, I’d say I really don’t know that much about the business world, how it works, who the top players are, or how to maximize gains without having to sacrifice capital. It was just never something that really interested me, but as I got older and developed a better understanding of how all the cogs fit into the machine, I became more and more fascinated with it. Not really in a, “Oh, I’m going to own my own business someday,” kind of way, but in a way that got the little hamster wheels in my head turning.
Regardless of what it is that you’re selling, it’s important that you find people out there who feel like buying. And whether you’re selling crafts out of your garage, or meeting with your board of directors to discuss strategy for next quarter, you’re going to have to find a way to not only bring in the clients, but also get them to stick around. It’s not easy, but by investing a little bit of time, effort, and in some cases, money into how your users experience your product, you can get them in the door and keep them there.
For example: Anyone with half a brain and a decent set of limbs can make a simple cup of coffee; it’s not that hard. However, it takes a certain kind of person to not only make that cup of coffee, but ensure that it tastes great, toss some latte art on top, and casually hand it to you with a smile on their face. Now that’s hard. But, that’s the kind of user experience that turns normal customers into repeat customers. Sure, it’s a bit of a song and dance show, but people love a little production value here and there.
Look at it this way, if you sell copiers, odds are there are other people around you that sell copiers too, and there’s a good chance they want to run your sorry behind out of town and yank away your customer base. That’s business for you. But, to their dismay, you’re not just going to sell copiers today. What you’re going to do is invest in user experience, invest in your clients, and sell copiers much like that barista makes coffee, with a smile on your face. You’re going to ask how your client’s day is, you’re going to crack a few jokes, you’re going to do the song and dance, and you’re going to leave your client thinking, “Wow, that’s the best damn copier salesman in town.”
At this point though, you’re probably thinking, “Hey, wait a minute, pal. That’s not an investment, that’s just being nice!” But, that’s the beauty of it; it’s an investment that doesn’t cost you a dime, and not only that, it’s an investment that you essentially have an endless supply of.
So, next time you’re in your garage working on those crafts, or walking into that boardroom, think of that kid in the coffee shop that took the time to invest in you. Think about production value and how you can improve the way people interact and engage with you and your product. And more importantly than all of that, think about how you can invest in someone else’s day.