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Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, 2006/07/04 - Most business people have only one perspective on their business. Their own perspective. By looking at their business from their customers' point of view, they can really increase their sales and increase their profits.
When you're running a small business, you know what business you're in. Right? How else could you actually run the business?
Barry Sharp, a business consultant with Barry Sharp Business Consulting based in Vancouver, BC asks you to ask yourself a simple question:
“What business are you really in?”
Railroad companies used to view themselves as being in the railroad business. When other forms of transportation came along, railroads lost customers to cars, trucks and planes. It took them too long to realize that they were in the transportation business. They were fixated on their product…railroads, not on what their customers actually wanted. They lost their business opportunity to other forms of transportation, that gave their customers what they wanted…convenience, speed and flexibility. From being the largest and most profitable companies of their era, railroads have dwindled in significance.
Contrast the railroad business with the movie business. The big movie companies felt that they were in the movie business, with big stars and big budgets. Television almost destroyed Hollywood. Movie companies were also product oriented, but when they eventually figured out that they were in the entertainment business, their fortunes changed. Large movie companies are now firmly in the entertainment business, with profitable theme parks and Las Vegas casinos in addition to TV productions and DVDs.
Are you in the business of fixing cars? You may think so, but to your customers, you are in the business of keeping their cars running. Why do people buy cars? They could save a lot of money by using public transit and the occasional taxi or rental car. They spend a great deal of money on buying or leasing their car, insurance, fuel and maintenance and repair. They are spending a great deal of their money for one main reason: convenience. If your customers' cars don't work, they suffer major inconvenience. You are in the convenience business.
When you use a business consulting firm to help you with your business, you are certainly using the knowledge and expertise that a business consultant brings to the table, but one of the major advantages of using a consultant is that they bring an outsider's viewpoint to the business. You can often develop great insight into your business by taking a different perspective on it.
When you look at your business from your customer's perspective, you can often see a whole new way of doing business. Your customer comes to you for a product or service, because they believe that your product or service can solve their problem. If you can take yourself away from the comfortable “We've always done it this way” method of doing business and figure out a way to solve the customer's real problem, your business will really take off.
So try looking at your business from a business consultant's profit-based perspective.