Tuesday, October 5, 2010

You Can Laugh at Recession Worries, if Your Business Does This

You can laugh at recession worries if you ... increase your revenues with new ideas that your competitors can't match.

What's the easiest way to find new ideas to beat your competitors?

By borrowing them from non-competitors -- businesses in completely different industries.

Like McDonald's, which borrowed the idea of a drive-through window from ... banking.

Or Robert Stevens, founder of the Geek Squad, who borrowed part of the idea for their logo from ...

According to Rupert Hart, author of "Recession Storming," ideas are all around you, waiting to be borrowed.

He offers these two examples:
  • How could you become the McDonald's of your industry, by offering a simple, limited menu of unparalleled consistency?
  • How could you emulate H&R Block, by providing seasonal, personalized service at a reasonable price?
Think: How could you become the Apple of your industry, by borrowing from their product design? (Hint: take about 3-5 links off your home page, for a start -- Apple's design is as much about what they don't include in their products as what they do include.)

Or how could you become the Zappos of your industry, by borrowing from their customer service? (Hint: pick up the phone and call your customers. Zappos builds relationships, one customer at a time, often when their employees answer customer questions by phone.)

(Kevin M. Donlin is author of the Special Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Small Business Professionals.)

1 comment:

  1. That's so true. I actually used to work in a personal development "publishing" (read: ecommerce) company which had awards like being the most democratic company by WorldBlu, wanted to be a Zappos of the industry, etc. However, the total was a total mess of autocratic leadership (we used to call the boss "Chairman ___" behind his back - as in Chairman Mao), didn't follow a thing that Zappos really did except for maybe call things a bit more fancy.

    So I don't think it's exactly that it's the idea we are 'borrowing' from other companies - it's more so about how we implement the changes and follow it through to create a more dynamic business.