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Small Free Steps Of Innovation In Your Business

Do not always think 'profit-ability', instead think 'person-ability'.

Today's blog is about working on innovation within your business. But the innovation we are talking about is not radical or disruptive changes that the world's culture would see - like how the internet revolutionised the way we spend our time, block-chain technologies, cognitive learning software, the invention of the wheel and fire, but rather, hitting more home runs with your own database and prospects, making small incremental changes where it really counts. Toyota is a Japanese car company that has a record of implementing 99.7% of their recommendations to keep them viable in the changing culture. Small constant changes of understanding what the customers are wanting and what the trends are telling us about future technologies, makes sense to optimize your business. The key understanding here is 'If you treat the symptoms, you may win or lose, but if you treat the person, you'll always win'. Our customers are our buyers. But how well do we really understand them and the customer buying experience?

Imagine if you sold milkshakes and you wanted to understand your customer experience better, what would you do?

-> One could try being a customer in your own business to understand what were the drivers of buying or walking away.

-> Another way is to spend time talking to your existing customers and asking them questions like:

Where are they going at that time of day? On my way to work

What did they buy? A strawberry milkshake

What job needs to be done? To fill my stomach as I did not eat breakfast, had to be

tasty, not messy, easy to drink or eat as I drove to work

Why did they buy here? Because it is on my route and has an easy turn in lane where I did not have to get out of the car

Why didn't they buy somewhere else? I know this place is fast, cheap and the milkshake is nice and it is on my way - so it is convenient

Was this the better choice? A donut would leave me sugar-coated, a banana was not available, a hot coffee I could get at work, a pie might slop on my shirt when driving, but a milkshake is cool and filling in a drip-free container that I could drink whilst I drive and would last most of the way to get there.

What served them? It was the ease of filling my hunger and the want for something sweet and being conveniently packaged.

What did not serve them? That it was not so healthy for me.

What are they avoiding? I did not want to wake up earlier to spend my time to make a proper breakfast - it was easier to sleep in a little more and then get something on the road.

Why does it work for them? It is easy to get on my way, cheap and satisfying with no mess in the car or on my clothes and I am not compromising my sleep time.

"What if you looked at your client as your hero (the one who allowed your business to thrive)? And if they have a need, you could help them - being each other's hero"

Connecting to your database is the easiest way to understand what your customer really wants in general, and what problem they are trying to fix.

Empathy is feeling connected, what makes something better is a connection. Steps to Empathy Imagine the character What can you relate to? What is in common? How is it that you are friends? What do they care about most? What stories matter to them most? What stories do they experience? Become their character - How do they experience your business? Write down the ideal journey. The small incremental steps of innovation should be entertained in every business if they want to be sustainable. By asking new questions, by new voices, hearing new stories, lighting up new passions and trialling new experiments will ensure your survival for years to come. I wish you every bit of success you deserve.

If you have found this article helpful, you'll also enjoy my fortnightly mentor group emails. It is a conversation on how we can do business better, level up personally and reach more financial goals. Come join me here. Meg Hogan

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