Believe It Or Not, Business is Actually Super Simple


Believe It Or Not, Business is Actually Super Simple

Last year I missed seeing my hero, Seth Godin, when he came to Sydney. Two of my friends did manage to snare some tickets, but they never thought to invite me…The ranks of my ex-friends immediately grew by two more.

One of the reasons I love Seth, is that he has the ability to simplify things that seem complicated down to their essence. This is what the complicated concept of business success looks like when Seth applies his genius to it:

For business to succeed you really only have to do two things:

  1. Deliver a great product or service
  2. Make sure lots of people know about it

A chill ran down my spine when I read those two lines. Business really is that simple. All you have to do is to get those two things right and you’ll never look back. But I drop the ball on 50% of those two statements, regularly, along with many of my clients and most small business owners generally.

Here’s where we tend to drop the ball

I do do great work, I really do. I have absolutely no qualms saying that. And so do most of my clients. The plumbers I have worked with are amongst the best in the business, and so are the architects I have worked with and the web developers, and the panel beaters, the undertakers, the graphic designers, the florists and the chefs. We are all bloody great at what we do, and we deliver a great service. In other words, we’re all over statement #1.

But business isn’t simple for us, because we don’t give the same attention to Seth’s second statement.

We think that we can make our businesses succeed by focusing all our energy on delivering a great service and the rest will somehow follow by itself.

Seeing the world as we are

Seth is a marketing guru and obviously that means he looks at the world through filter of his profession as a marketer. We’re no different. We all look at the world and see what we are trained to see. The problem is that the plumber therefore sees his world in terms of his profession as does the architect and everyone else and we think that plumbing or architecture is the thing that matters most. As a former carpenter and builder, I tend to see my profession as the thing that matters most as well, but it doesn’t. There is simply no point being a great designer if very few people know about how great your design service is.

I hang my head in shame really, because 6 years ago, I wrote in my first book: “Marketing is everything and everything is marketing”. Do as I say, not as I do in other words. I have been focusing most of my energy in the last 12 years on doing great work and developing my profession, keeping my fingers crossed that the rest would take care of itself. It doesn’t.

Developing a Deeper “knowing”

So what does Seth’s second statement actually mean? There’s more behind those few words than meets the eye. Making sure lots of people “know” about what a great service I deliver goes much deeper than placing an ad on the back of a bus. What that “knowing” is actually all about is creating Raving Fans.

Raving fans are customers who go out of their way to tell their friends and their family how great I really am. For you to “know” that I deliver a great service, it takes more than seeing a banner on a website. I can stand here and tell you I am fabulous and amazing, till I’m blue in the face (and btw, trust me, I am great… honest), but hearing me say it, is unlikely to lead your “knowing”. To “know” that I am fabulous, I have to prove it to you and the most effective proof I can give you comes from others, independently. If I can get my clients to tell you how good their experience of my service has been, that’s when you will begin to “know”.

This is my challenge to you: From today, start to direct your energy towards getting all of your clients to become Raving Fans. When you do…Business becomes super simple… I promise you.

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  • Sharon Chisholm

    Hi Roland, really great article and it totally makes sense.

    How does it work though when your clients are unlikely to rave about you because you are a mental health coach and they may not want to disclose to people that they are using me.? I would welcome any thoughts you may have.


  • Roland Hanekroot

    Hi Sharon,
    I’m sorry I missed your comment for nearly a month… I am hanging my head in shame.
    Yes I have struck that problem myself some times… It’s a tricky issue. I think the best advice I can give you is to publish… lots of publishing, and telling client stories… in articles, facebook posts, videos writing books, speaking at gatherings…. the more you do so in story form the more people will connect with what you have to offer them and the more they’ll relate to you and to your (anonymous) client testimonials

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