Just thinking about today. When I was growing up, we all looked forward to Sundays, not for our cathedral Sunday school, but for chicken and Mr. Biggs. Yes, it was Mr. Biggs. My father used to own a Mercedes Benz c180 (I think it was the 1991/1992 model or so). Only one of our neighbors then owned a car. It was the Daewoo Espero. His mechanic was our church member.
So after Sunday school, we would rush home and get ready for Mr. Biggs. It was their large crunchy meat-pie and chicken we loved, and yes their kiddies’ playground. These were my earliest childhood memories. Sometimes, our neighbor’s mechanic will bring his kids to our house, and my father will drive us all to Mr. Biggs to eat meat-pie, ice-cream, and chicken. It was fun.
Many years later, we were reminiscing the whole growing up experience and when we asked about our mechanic friend, my father said he had packed to the village with his children. What happened was our mechanic friend failed to upgrade his mechanic skills. Back in the day, he was popular as the go-to guy for Daewoo Espero cars, until there were no longer customers bringing Daewoo cars to service. Matter of fact, there was no more Daewoo cars in the market. I can almost say the same for Mr. Biggs.
Here’s what you should know. The rate of innovation in the last twenty years is more than the last hundred years put together, and it won’t stop now. Everything will continue to evolve and evolve. The business rule of the early 90’s have change. My father never used a smartphone when he was growing up, he was comfortable with the rotary phone, but now there are no rotary phone. He had to learn how to use an all-screen device.
In the 20th century, to start a business was impossible, so most our parents got a job because it was the easiest and wisest decision to make. Starting a business meant owing a large production site, a large warehouse, and lots of staffs with huge inventories. It was mission impossible. The 21st century is totally different and very radical. College students are starting disruptive businesses.
A friend once said to me, “The people that will create the jobs for Nigeria are most likely in the university.” Think about that for a moment. This means that most persons reading this article and is above thirty years of age will most likely be employed by guys who are in their early and mid-twenties. This is because businesses are fast changing, people are disrupting businesses.
In reality, your potential customers are lazy, crazy, and busy. Most likely, they have seen it all. When people get used to something, it starts to bore them. This is why we use companies like Uber, Facebook, Google, Jumia, GIGM, and the rest. It is just like trying to woo a lady, when they say they are not interested, most likely it is because you are not interesting.
There are basic principles and steps to this. You can’t keep doing the same thing in business and don’t expect to fade out.
First things first, you have to figure out the purpose of going into business; is it to pay bills or to create a revolution? Is it to be compete with a striving business, or to completely make the competitor irrelevant?
If you want to make the competitor irrelevant, you must outnovate the system. In the 21st century, it is no longer customer service, but customer experience.
The questions shouldn’t be how to be better than my competitor, but how to make my competitors irrelevant. It shouldn’t be how to service your customers, but how to change their experience all over. It shouldn’t be how do I sell to my customers and make money from them, but how to turn them to partners and your brand evangelist. Everyone is still busy treating customers as customers when customers no longer want to be treated as customers.
Everyone wants to and expects to be treated as special.
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