Changing a Sophisticrappy Business Cycle by Giving More.
Business strategy is any evolving science.
The last thousand years of studied commercial history show a cyclical nuance that usually follows the path of reinvention, risk-taking, and reversion.
As entrepreneurs expand on new ideas, old business methodologies get reinvented. For a period of time this reinvention creates new economic opportunities and increases profitability and prospective growth.
This period of "healthy" commerce drives increased risk-taking. Prospective investors looking to increase their own wealth gamble heavily on these reinvented business strategies. Which, quite often, leads to high-risk, unhealthy investments.
These unsound investments trigger a financial crash and disrupt the business system. Which, in turn, fuels a reversion back to less risky, more proven business strategies -- beginning a cycle of "playing it safe".
That's how business works.
The timing of these cycles changes based on location and the economic health of the area in which businesses being done. But the same patterns are likely to be found everywhere that business is being done .
The current global economic cycle in large part evidences a reversion cycle.
Right now, as businesses experience less than stellar growth trajectories, leaders are going back to a "playing it safe" business model.
Which isn't entirely unwise.
When you aren't entirely sure what is broken, it can be a smart move to make things as simple and his quantifiable as possible. As you diagnose strengths and weaknesses, you can then pinpoint and eliminate potential problems you find.
But it also creates some nasty side effects. Like selfishness.
All too often, businesses in the reversion cycle tend to focus entirely on internal performance metrics and executive behaviors.
New customers are not adequately supported. Marketing is not creative or engaging. Leadership is hesitant to do anything that might create additional stress to the business infrastructure.
Which means that potentially valuable business strategies go underutilized.
You are losing money.
Which keeps you in a weakened state longer,
Giving is a business strategy that can disrupt the negative effects of the reversion cycle. Specifically, you giving more value than people pay for.
And while getting more seems like throwing good money after bad -- especially in a potentially financially unstable business environment -- quite the opposite is true.
Giving allows you to grow your business faster than simply following the usual reversion cycle and waiting for an opportunity for growth to emerge.
Here is why:
- Giving forces your customers to listen -- A lot of things in business get ignored -- bad sales pitches, silly cold calls, and useless marketing newsletters. But when you give something of incredible value, customers stop and take note. It's memorable in a way that no public relations or witty slogan can replicate. Think about it. Most of us can't even ignore the free samples in mall food court. Imagine you giving something that your customer really wants and them walking away. The opposite happens. They pay attention. They get in line. You grow.
- Giving allows your marketing to matter -- Buyers already know all the angles you are going to use. They expect your "drip emails" and don't even pay attention. The act of giving changes the whole conversation. Instead of talking about price, you talk about what matters most to your customer. Giving will force you to change your marketing message from the ordinary grind of business facts to the deeply personal story about people, fear, love, pain, and frustration. And that's what really matters to people. Giving is the secret to connecting.
- Giving keeps your employees inspired -- You can't grow without a motivated team around you. When things get bad for you business, employees get freaked out and stop doing the small things that make your company an industry leader. They are on Monster.com looking for a new paycheck. Giving doesn't just apply to the customers outside your door, it is a solid employee retention plan. Give time. Give appreciation. Give peace. Go out of your way to give to your team. It's not about more money. It's about more emotion. More consideration.
- Giving makes your business legendary -- Kindness is so rare and radical that when you see it -- or better yet, experience it -- your story becomes the stuff of legends. You never forget it. When you give, you create legendary status for your business. You transcend the ordinary and become different and more attractive than your competition. And the effects are lasting. Stories of your giving become the example for how business should be done. BUt you can't get there by just being average. You have to give even when it hurts.
Giving might seem like a topic for tele-evangelists and 30-minute QVC lipstick infomercials.
You can write it off as "fluff".
And you probably won't lose too much sleep over it.
But as you look around at your options -- at how best to trigger a "reinvention" of your business, you'll probably have to admit that you have tried the other options.
You've cut jobs and shaved budgets. You have increased pressure on your sales and marketing teams. You've hired experts to help you streamline your organization.
But none of that really works like you think it will until you take the radical step of giving more.
It's an attitude shift that accelerates the rest of your plans and processes.