James Bond, love him or hate him, that British spy has style, confidence, awareness and other attributes that all align making his image memorable and unique.
I believe successful businesses share many of the same elements that make up the character of Mr. Bond, James Bond.
I also believe if you take your business far too seriously and don’t allow the element of play, fun and enjoyment to balance out the work day; sorely you’ll never know what you, your team and clients have missed out on.
Play with me now, as I review what it’s like to do business 007 style, and just watch as more Moneypennys role into your till.
Brand You - James Bond is a standout. His appearance, style and mannerisms create a memorable experience. You want to be a standout in your chosen field. The way your products or services are presented, the way you market and your company’s image presents itself are going to be a direct reflection of your earnings. Make a choice to stand out. What’s that? You want to follow what the others are doing? You just want to work hard and do what used to work? Hmmm, I’ve forgotten you already.
Keep current with technology and trends - Bond always has more cool and fancy gadgets at his disposal than Goldfinger has gold. The point is, to be seen as relevant in today’s business world it’s important to be current. Doing business with you should be seamless and easy. From the ergonomics of your stores’ layouts to the tools your team has to work with, keep fresh and cutting edge.
Confidence - James Bond is cool as a cucumber, his awareness and confidence in his abilities have allowed him to stay on the top of his game and many other things. You and your team have to know, live and breathe your services or products. The deals will go to those whose confidence and sincerity shines through. You can’t fake this, either believe in your surroundings or leave your surroundings.
Style - Bond has style, do you? What sets your services or products apart from the others? Do you have your way of speaking or presenting your offerings that has your personal style imprinted on it? Years ago, I operated a fairly large furniture store in Victoria, BC. We personalized every picture frame and furniture piece with its own name, hundreds of unique names for all the products. My entire staff dressed in black and their individual styles showed through in the way they talked, did their hair or in the uniqueness of the black outfits they wore. That store was talked about not only in Victoria ongoing but in every relevant home style magazine throughout Canada for years.
Focus - Bond has a very clear focus on his task at hand and doesn’t waver from his directive. If you want to succeed in today's over stimulated heated up business world you have to focus with laser vision on your target market and not get distracted by all the other crap going on around you.
In James Bond’s world he always seems to get the girl and the bad guy. I just want you to get the clients you desire so you could write your own success story, you know, perhaps like these; The Shopper Who Loved Me or Customers Are Forever.
Forget what you learned in the text book, four walled, puppy mill called higher education, and don’t begin to take the advice of business generations past, including your parents and other so called authorities of playing it by the book.
If you really want to succeed in today’s business world but are holding onto business models and advice of what was, I’ve got five words for you to live by:
Don’t ever play it safe.
Every generation has their own group of personal mind leaders, those brilliant souls that teach us, mentor us and guide us, as we fly our flags of entrepreneurial spirit in business and life.
I am blessed to have a number of these individuals that have been an impactful influence on my culture of being. The futurist in me has always been attracted to those individuals that live in the question. The true seekers of what’s next, constantly questioning how we can improve our business models a million times over and never settling for how it has been done.
One such individual is Seth Godin. Seth is an idea spreader, a writer, a master marketer, a business leader and oh, so much more. This column is dedicated to some of my favorite quotes from the man, the legend Seth. Read them and reap!
“Marketing is the art of inventing the product. The effort of designing it. The craft of producing it. The art of pricing it. The technique of selling it.”
“Differentiate to succeed.”
“The old rules don’t work so well anymore. Marketing is dead. Long live marketing.”
“Stop advertising and start innovating.”
“Try is the opposite of hiding.”
“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.”
“Don’t try to make a product for everybody, because that is a product for nobody.”
“Quitting is Not the same as Failing.”
“Faced with an infinite number of choices, many people will pick the market leader.”
“The biggest secret of the internet is that it is inherently a direct marketing medium, the Internet is the greatest direct marketing medium of all time.”
“Powerful advertising is anticipated, personal and relevant.”
“As new forms of media develop and clutter becomes ever more intense, it’s the asset of permission that will generate profits for marketers.”
“Either you’re going to tell stories that spread, or you will become irrelevant.”
“It’s not enough to find a niche that shares a worldview, that niche has to be ready and able to influence a large group of their friends.”
“Don’t find customers for your products; find products for your customers.”
“Be genuine, be remarkable, be worth connecting with.”
“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.”
“Are you an artist – or just following instructions?”
“Correct is fine, but it is better to be interesting.”
“Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.”
“The future of marketing is leadership.”
“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”
“Fitting in is short term strategy, standing out pays off in the long run.”
“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.”
“How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”
“Reject the tyranny of being picked. Pick yourself.”
“We do not need to teach students to embrace the status quo.”
There you are my friends, just a small sample of Seth’s brilliant mind. We only know what we know. Please be open to the wonder of what else is possible.
If you allow yourself to stop forming conclusions which locks old energy and beliefs in place, you may be amazed to what shows up for you and your business.
Business models, of course.
Business models in the now economy are changing faster than the breakfast menus at your local fast food restaurants.
The challenge for today’s retailers is to accept the new retail revolution and become the chameleons they will have to be in order to succeed.
This does mean embracing the change of how today’s consumers are shopping and understanding new buying habits and expectations. Like it or not, the customer is king or queen and can vote for where they decide to spend their hard earned cash. It’s important you stay current with how the majority of people are shopping or the royals will leave your business in search of modern offerings elsewhere.
So let’s talk about trends in business models for current and future growth.
1. Know this, live this, breathe this – It doesn’t matter what you retail or what your own stubborn personal beliefs are about this. You had better be selling your products online. Open up your eyes and take a look at what’s going on around you. Every single consumer demographic you can think of is fixated on their phones, tablets, laptops etc. - this is becoming part of the day to day lifestyle for many and it’s not going away. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, shopping online is for the most part safe, easy, relaxed and cost saving. Trust me, shoppers today are not like those of days gone by, many do not feel the need to talk to a salesperson or see and touch their purchase up close before buying. I can speak from a very personal viewpoint on this. One of the BMW’s we purchased we had never taken a drive in prior to buying it, and the new stand up paddle boards my wife has bought for us this year were researched and ordered online and delivered to us from New York without ever seeing them. Thousands of dollars spent without ever stepping into a showroom.
2. Smaller business models. Small is big! Many retailers are finding reducing their size has been the formula to less stress and larger profit. Smaller space stores require less inventory to fill and can be far more specialized and reduced operating costs are just a few of the reasons to go small. The writing is on the wall as many shopping malls, department stores, big box chains and large sized retailers see consumers trending away from the mega shop experience and gravitate to the smaller boutique element. Go small to go big.
3. Kiosks. Steady growth in retail kiosks is making them a very popular alternative way to retail in North America. Compact in size, shiny and fresh in their offerings, combined with short term leases and high profit margins make these ideal for many entrepreneurs.
4. Pop up stores. I have seen more and more of these on my travels and they are the magic ticket for many seasonal retailers that focus on specific products during high volume times of the year. Christmas and Halloween are especially profitable for these temporary outlets. Look for more of these popping up in your city as commercial lease space is readily available in most areas.
The business models above represent just the tip of the retail iceberg in how consumer buying habits are changing how we retail. Welcome and embrace the change, it’s what keeps life interesting for you and your customers. Happy selling!
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