When you think about it, the founding fathers were called revolutionaries for a reason. Not just because they led a revolution against the greatest empire in the world, but also because they were revolutionary thinkers.
These men were the best and the brightest of their day. They thought radically, dreamed big and were unafraid to go against the status quo – not just for themselves, but for everyone and the ideals they believed in.
There is plenty to learn from those who came before us this Independence Day. There is a lot to be said for having a revolutionary mindset about your business, even if –especially if – it disrupts the status quo.
Here are some ways you can revolutionize your business:
1. Revolutionize your customer relations: Do you use the 80-20 rule? If not, why not? Twenty percent of your customers are the reason you are still in business. Don’t just be nice to them, change your model to really cater to their wants and needs.
Take Nordstrom’s for example. Famous for its marvelous customer relations, the retailer considers itself to be in the service business, not the apparel business. Even Home Depot has hired more employees to enhance the experience in their stores.
Consider adding a customer rewards program, or even do something as simple as sending a hand-written thank you note to show your appreciation.
2. Revolutionize your employee relations: I once saw a survey of the most successful franchisees in America. They all had one thing in common – the owners were exceptional bosses. They treated their staff like gold. And that staff, in turn, did backflips for the business – treating both customers and each other well by always showing respect, having fun and working extra hard.
But it all starts with you, the business owner. By revolutionizing your management style, you can revolutionize your business as well.
3. Revolutionize your marketing: While some small business owners might be cautious about social media, I cannot stress enough the importance of including it in your marketing plan. The most recent Bank of America Small Business Owner Report found that 86 percent of small business owners found word of mouth and customer referrals to be the most effective marketing tactic. And where do people share their opinions? That’s right, social media.
Don’t deny the magnificent new ideas of today. Jump on the social media bandwagon.
4. Revolutionize your attitude: When was the last time you tried something big, new and bold in your business? It is probably safe to say that it has been a while, especially if you have been in business for many years. The startup fever that you get at the beginning of your venture tends to dissipate over time.
Brainstorm, think big and try some new products, services and strategies. Sure, some of the ideas won’t pan out – that’s the nature of the beast. But some will, and they will set you on a whole new course. Don’t be afraid to boldly go where no entrepreneur has gone before.
When thinking about your business this Independence Day, think about a quote from Ben Franklin: “If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.”
How do you plan to revolutionize your business? Share your story below.
About Steve Strauss
Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest,The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss