Run Faster!Robert Coolidge
“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle; when the sun comes up, you better be running.” African Proverb
If your business has the good fortune to be thriving with many years in operation, it is tempting to kick back and bask in the glow of a well-oiled machine. However, since complacency is the enemy of success, you may need to be reminded of this insightful proverb.
Relying on past achievements and being satisfied with the status quo are the surest ways to end up as an entrée on your competitor’s plate. To stay relevant, it’s imperative that you keep moving forward with fresh ideas and service offerings to provide value to your customers. Some ideas to get your team thinking creatively in 2018:
- Brainstorm – Gather staff from all levels of the organization to share thoughts on potential new markets, products/services, sales approaches, operational improvements and whatever else that needs a refresh. Those in the trenches often have the best ideas as they are regularly closest to day-to-day company activity.
- Get Feedback – Talk to your customers and find out what they want from you that they’re not getting. If they buy from your competition, try to get vital intel on how that business is able to pick up your slack.
- Stay Informed – Get out of the office and network with others in your industry. Join trade associations, watch webinars and attend conferences to stay on top of trends and capitalize on opportunities to grow your business.
Encompass is marking our 65th year in business this year and couldn’t be more excited. But while we will always honor our heritage, we know that the key to success lies with our ability to continually innovate and evolve. Over the past few years we have worked hard to diversify our parts inventory to become a convenient one-stop source. We continually add new lines as we strive to be a preferred parts supplier for all products in the home from the driveway to the kitchen to the back yard.
We’ve also significantly enhanced our e-commerce site and online catalog to assist customers with parts selection. Encompass.com features tools to link a product’s exploded view to part detail pages for easy identification and ordering. We are currently working with numerous manufacturers to obtain schematics, so we can further bulk up our technician resources.
This year we’re focusing on developing interactive technology, so our customer service agents and in-house technicians can have face-to-face conversations with callers. With this capability, we can better assist business and consumer customers with virtually any parts needs.
No matter how stable and successful your business may be, don’t run the risk of resting on your laurels. You always need to keep running to avoid getting starved out of the market.