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Wisdom in brief, Spring 2012

If you’ve missed the last few posts, here’s a “Cliff’s Notes” style summary that will get you caught up faster than acetone evaporates in the sun. It’s concise business and leadership insight condensed to spoon-sized portions.

New Rule #1:

Forget the customer and achieve your goals

If you want to achieve personal goals and/or working ON the business kind of goals you have to abandon the straight-line approach that works so well IN the business. Adopt a separate strategy and force three necessary emotional states that assure you’ll get the job done. You’ll have a much better chance to actually achieve goals that have otherwise eluded you in the past.

> Starting Point: Define your current state

Though not an easy step, the payoff in clarity is well worth it. Key to success is establishing a benchmark from the get go. Thereafter, the small ticks of progress help to sustain interest and motivation, a prerequisite of goal achievement.

> Ending Point: Create a short list of goals

Picture where you want to go and forget being precise. Include some tiny goals along with the Big Kahuna’s so that progress will be evident. Work in a team and attach a date to each with a clear description of the objective.

> Midpoints: Allow yourself 4 course corrections

Allow yourself plenty of room for error. It’s a critical difference between customer work and your work—between working ON the business and working IN the business. In goal setting; perfection is not realistic. Allowing room for error is.

[Read more. See “A simple, 3-step plan to achieve goals—a design for coatings professionals.”
—January 5, 2012]

New Rule #2

The customer of the future is on the phone

Mobile technology is moving in at the speed of sound. Ignore it at your own peril.

Like the Internet itself, “Mobile” is touching every conceivable market, narrow and wide, and Smartphones are driving it. Together they represent a massive convergence of many different kinds of services into one big lump—the most significant evolution in user interactions since the mouse.

Meanwhile the customers of the future are looking for engagement and ways to reduce stress. You both have a vested interest in optimizing flow and conserving resources. Mobile technology could help you and your customer make better decisions on the fly, whether everybody’s in town or not.

Clearly, Mobile connects dots we didn’t even see before.

[Read more. See “Mobilize your coatings business—a primer to what’s next” —January 24, 2012

New Rule #3

America gets emotional about it’s manufacturing

Americans respond more emotionally to rebounds in manufacturing than in other sectors. A perception that manufacturing is healthy again could boost confidence in the economy.

But what comes next, consumer confidence or a measurable rebound in the economy? In an election year it’s faster job creation.

With the high demand for American jobs (unemployment) now in the sunlight of such encouraging economic trends, [the supply chain] could ultimately see more manufacturers bring more production back to the states. 

We don’t have to know exactly what will ultimately tip the scales in our favor. We just have to believe a game shot is within throw.

[See “Several trends point to a colorful near-future.”—February 17, 2012]

New Rule #4

Accept customers for the words they use

If you don’t subscribe to the keywords your customers actually use, you’re irrelevant and sharpshooting with the Internet.

Do yourself a favor and take more control of your customers’ online experience by achieving a more competitive search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Do it effectively and you begin to target potential customers who are looking for your services online.

Don’t lose out to a lesser competitor who ranks higher in search simply because they have the keyword your customers use. Look at keywords from your customers’ perspective. This is how you define your business by the keywords you keep.

[See “Define your finishing business by the “keyword” you keep”—March 21, 2012]

Look for “New Rules” every fifth post. Stay with us.

I welcome your comments, questions or more discussion.