Have You Found Your Secret Sauce?
In a world of tough competition, how do you distinguish your brand from the rest?
Experts agree that entrepreneurs maximize a business idea when their authentic talents and values are at the core of their business and woven into the fabric of their efforts. These aren’t always groundbreaking. They are often subtle, a slightly different way of seeing or doing, and these subtleties make all the difference. This is spot on for me. We did not invent something new. We were offering ease and efficiency for complying with complex nanny tax laws and payroll processes. Embrace your authentic talents and values. Resist pressure to follow a standard or a norm, and weave your uniqueness into the core of your business to maximize the value of what you deliver to the world.
Examples of Weaving Your Talents into Your Business to Maximize Value
Example 1:We let our strongest talents and passions define our business values and our execution strategies—the how we were going to get there. Tapping into our best was the preferred path over many standard business norms. Business development relationships were built upon the belief that doing the work to help partners truly know and trust our company and our services would create a loyal, long-term network that would deliver growth and opportunity. This was not a big-splash, giant-leap strategy. This was a one-step-at-a-time, learn-as-you-go, time-consuming strategy. I trained, consulted, got to personally know more than 125 placement firms in our first two years, in addition to speaking and exhibiting at three to four annual industry conferences. The result? I earned the loyal, exclusive partnership of over a hundred placement firms that fueled a significant growth. It is still a core marketing strategy. The partnership network is continuously growing, and competitors have never copied our approach. I guess it is too much work.
Example 2:My belief in the value and power of quality education, meaningful communication, and high-touch service is so strong that it became a cornerstone of our execution strategies. How could these intangible, nice-to-offer features be profitable strategies with strong return on investment, particularly in a financially oriented, deliverable-driven household payroll and tax company? I saw the world just a little differently and believed this difference was the key to everything. Payroll, tax, and labor law are poorly understood topics, but they are critical to an in-home employment relationship, and understanding them could make or break the quality of care for a loved one.The result? While our competitors were offering gifts and discounts, and requiring sign-up prior to consultation, we were putting money and energy behind being there. Highly educated consultants were available whenever and for as long as clients needed them. There was no voicemail or phone trees. It did take years for this simple strategy to reveal its power, but the results were staggering: More than 50% of our sales consultations result in a client lifetime more than two times that of any competitor, an average of 25% of new clients through word of mouth, and a virtually unheard of Net Promoter Score in the high eighties. As a matter of fact, our first client stayed with the service for twenty years. The consulting team is the largest team in the company, and the return on investment from their contribution is virtually priceless. This strategy has created barrier to entry, builds loyalty, and greatly enhances the value proposition—all because the phone is answered by an expert ready to educate, problem-solve, and be a part of the in-home care team. A competitor once asked my advice for keeping calls to an average of a few minutes as a tool for controlling costs. I just smiled and changed the subject. She never would have believed that we had no limits. We have often called it the secret sauce.
What’s your secret sauce? It is something completely unique to your talents, and when woven into the fabric of your business it will make all the difference.
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