Superhero movies are all the rage right now, and I have to say I’m loving it! I’ve been reading comic books since before I could read! But of the hundreds of superheroes, my favorite superhero has always been Superman. Not just because he’s the most powerful, but because he has stood the test of time since the 1930’s and still sets the standard that the others follow. Now, I’ll never be flying around taking out bad guys, but I can become a Business Superhero…. and so can you.
Here are 4 Ways to Become a Business Superhero:
1. Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: In the world of business and sales, change happens at an amazing rate today. According to a 2016 report by Innosight (“Corporate Longevity: Turbulence Ahead for Large Organizations“) corporations in the S&P 500 Index in 1965 stayed in the index for an average of 33 years. By 1990, average tenure in the S&P 500 had narrowed to 20 years and is now forecast to shrink to 14 years or less by 2026. Why is that? The biggest reason is that many companies simply cannot, or will not, keep up with change. Which in turn opens the doors of opportunity to the smaller and faster moving businesses. Look at Kodak Film, Blockbuster Video, Blackberry, Xerox, etc., etc. You know this list, right?
If you want to stay successful in the world of business, you need to be quick to stay relevant to your customers and prospects. And to stay relevant, you’ve got to keep up with changes in technology as well as the expectations of your customers. For instance, the way salespeople sold products and services back in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s simply will not work with today’s customers. They are too educated and savvy to fall for things like bait ‘n switch or high-pressure sales tactics. (They have Google review- and they’re not afraid to use it.)
So, the question becomes: how can you stay Faster Than a Speeding Bullet and keep up with change in the world of business? Here are a few questions to ask yourself, to get the ideas and answers flowing:
- How can you improve upon what you currently offer customers? What tweaks, updates or improvements can you make? (Think Netflix that went from DVDs to streaming)
- What can you offer that your competitors do not?
- What are your competitors doing that you should be doing also? (only better)
- What new talent do you need and how can you recruit them?
- Can you offer a new product or service that you do not already?
- What technology do you need that would help increase speed, efficiency or income?
- What can you do, or new technology can you obtain, to increase retention for your customers?
2. Be More Powerful Than a Locomotive: Everyone has that certain something, that special and unique ability or skill set that elevates them to another level. Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris had Martial Arts. Mohammed Ali and Mike Tyson had Boxing. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg had computers. For me, I have sales, coaching, writing, speaking and leadership. But what about you? What skills do you have? What do you excel at that sets you apart from everyone else? What is it that you can do better than most others in your industry?
Here’s the problem: many small business owners will open, let’s say a Yoga studio. That’s fine, but when you only take an online certification course and watch YouTube videos thinking how easy it, you’ll fail. And you’ll deserve it too. You just can’t fool customers today. Now, if you have been training in in Yoga for 5-10 years, that’s a different story.
By working hard and developing a high-level skill set that no one else has, you’ll be able to achieve your business goals faster than your competition. But don’t be fooled, this is no overnight matter. Higher level skill sets take years, even a decade or more, to create and hone into something that will add value to your professional development and of course, your bottom line. And in a world where people can get what they want when they want it, that only serves to make your skills far more valuable. Why? Because most people will quit when it gets hard. So just stay the course and outwork your competition, in the long run you’ll be glad you did.
- Make a list of highly sought-after skills sets in your industry
- Make a list of the skills you already posses
- Highlight/asterisks any that match
- Create a daily/weekly plan of steps to take to increase that skill set
- Find courses or information that will increase that skill
- Read the book: So Good They Can’t Ignore You and Grit
- Find a mentor that has the skill you want to develop
- Put in the time each day
- Be VERY clear on what the end point looks like
- Stay focused and don’t quit – look long term
- Outwork your competition every day
3. Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound: When you own a business, you have problems. Everyday you’re either solving a problem from yesterday or last week, or discovering a new one. That’s just the way it is. A vendor didn’t get you a product on time. A customer closes their account and goes to a competitor. An employee quits. The internet goes down. The software crashes. And on, and on. So, what do you do? Answer: you find a solution. Better answer: you create a system to deal with problems as they arise to ensure they get resolved quickly, efficiently, and most importantly, that you are not emotionally or mentally drained. Because if that happens, you won’t have the right amount of energy to focus on generating revenue.
So here are a few steps to take that will allow you to run each problem through a semi-system, so you can leap your tall building in a single bound and get back to your main priority: revenue generation.
- On a scale of 1-10 how important is it?
- Does this need immediate attention, or can I push off to another day/time?
- Can I delegate this task?
- What resources do I need to resolve this?
- Can I break the problem down into chunks?
- Is there a possible opportunity or learning lesson?
- Is this a recurring issue? If so, how can I eliminate this problem?
4. Hope & Leadership: Again, let’s take a look at the most powerful and influential superhero in our times, Superman. Superman has been the greatest hero not because he is the most powerful, but because he sets the standard of excellence so that the other heroes follow in his footsteps. Since 1939 he has led the way by providing guidance, inspiration, meaning and leadership. He has led from the front by setting the example on how to handle challenges, but he has also led from the back ensuring that others are on the right path themselves and becoming the best that they can possible be. But what about you (as the business owner) how do you offer hope and leadership?
- What are you doing for your staff to set the standards of excellence?
- What are you doing to set the example in sales, customer service or problem solving?
- What have you done to ensure that you are providing top notch guidance and proper training so that your employees can reach their potential?
To be a Business Superhero just follow the above four rules. And if you can do that, then you too can wear your underwear on the outside.