Roy's Blog: October 2017

October 30, 2017

How to avoid being a startup loser

So you have an awesome idea for a new business. You think you can make a difference in the world and make tons of money like some others before you have. How should you proceed?

What do you have to do to turn your “brave idea” into a “crude deed?

First you need to know that the odds that you will succeed in the long run are not that great. Many studies conclude the same thing, that around 30 percent of new businesses make it to 2 years while only half are still around after 5 years.

The herd of losers is HUGE and growing.

Startup loser

Why do so many die?

- Economies throughout the world are volatile and unpredictable;

- Competition is super intense; new competitors enter markets at a blistering rate;

- New technology “rains down” relentlessly disrupting the flow of plans;

- Markets are cluttered with sameness; products and services are undifferentiated and competitive claims are lost in the crowd;

- Customers are more empowered than ever before, establishing relationships with suppliers that deliver distinctive solutions and ignoring those that don’t.

What do the survivors look like?

Those that are able to survive and win are DiFFERENT from their competitors.

They survive the scrutiny of the discriminating customer by providing relevant, compelling value that is unmatched by their competitors.

Those that have no distinctive identity simply don’t make it.

They die.

Answer these 3 questions and discover how you can beat the odds of long term success.

Q1. Why do many companies who have been around a while fail?

a) They cease being relevant to their customers ✅

b) They don’t advertise enough

c) Their cost structure is too high

d) Their revenues decline

They get too smug and comfortable and take their existing customers for granted.

Survivors

Survivors remain relevant and invest substantial resources to stay there.

When you are up and running, never feel entitled to your current revenue stream. You have to go out and earn it every day!

Q2. What is the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when starting a new business?

a) They fail to attract great sales people

b) They don’t advertise enough

c) They don’t test their idea with potential customers

d) Their business idea is not different from their competition in a way people care about ✅

Your idea must resonate with people; it must address something the CARE about and it must be different than anything else out there.

It’s not about gee-whiz technology and all the cool things it can do.

It’s more about captivating someone with what they can do “with your thing” and that they can ONLY get it from you.

Don’t launch your new idea until it passes this test.

Q3. What is the most critical thing to look for in recruiting people to join your team?

a) The innate desire to serve other people ✅

b) Social media expertise

c) Technology skills

d) A powerful personal network

The other attributes are important, but at the end of the day successful business is about building relationships with, and caring about other people.

Ensure that the individuals you recruit have demonstrated skills and experience in helping their fellow human beings. That’s what drives amazing customer service which is a key differentiator.

Change the world by being the ONLY one that does what you do with people that “love” human beings.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 10.30.17 at 03:10 am by Roy Osing
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October 23, 2017

What happens when you are “the only one”?

“There is only one” is the answer every person should covet when someone asks a question about anything.

“Who is the right choice for this position?”

“Who has the highest leadership potential of all our managers?”

“Who shall we ask to lead the team charged with bringing our new product to market?”

You want the answer to be “There is only one choice” - and that is you.

You want the choice to be crystal clear; a no brainer to those asked to consider the answer to the question.

How do you position yourself as “the only one” when you consider that the number of contenders is huge. There is so much competition for anything, it’s almost unimaginable that one person can get tagged as being the obvious choice.

The only one

But it happens.

What do these individuals do to make themselves “the only one”?

First of all, they done get to that position through serendipity; it doesn’t just happen; it’s not a fluke.

They achieve this exalted only position by creating and successfully executing a strategy to be different from everyone else in a relevant way in their area of specialty.

These 6 actions are crucial to their strategy.

1. They meticulously understand their competition and how each of them approaches a task or assignment. They study their approach to solving problems and how they go about seeking approval for what they’ve done.
Their competitors provide the baseline behaviour to be different from. Typically most of the competition use common tools like copying what others do and also following what the pundits espouse as the “right” thing to do which serves as an opportunity for differentiation.

2. They have mentors who have excelled in getting things done in the trenches. They have a powerful brand among their peers as someone who is motivated to continually “try stuff” until they eventually land on a winner.
Executing gains more currency and credibility in an organization than intellectualizing and assessing the most appropriate course of action to take.

3. They question “We’ve always done things this way”—a great way to define why you are, but not particularly relevant to defining what you need to be. “Only ones” never assume the past is particularly relevant to moving forward in chaotic times.
They constantly advocate assessing current projects and activities to ensure they continue to be relevant to the direction of the organization, and are quick to put up their hand to say “cut the crap” if they’re not.

4. They are contrarian by nature and attempt a 180 to what most others do. Their natural inclination is to beg the question “What if we did it in exactly the opposite way?” and see what result can be achieved.
“How can I do this differently?” is foremost in their mind; it is involuntary response and governs everything they do - they always look for a way to add their personal twist.

5. They find the idea of benchmarking and best practices repugnant. You can’t be the only one if you rely on copying others as your modus operandi; they get this. They understand that all copying achieves is to increase the size of the sameness herd who all look alike and are indistinguishable from one another.

6. They have their sights on their next move. They know exactly what position they want and when they would like the opportunity to get it. This targeting is critical in terms of positioning and the priority of the issues to engage in.
If, for example, one covets the Director Marketing role, displaying “only one” tactics are more productively applied to marketing, sales and business strategy projects than others.

Being “the only one” is the ticket to success if you are looking for a way to standout from others; these 6 actions will pave the way.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 10.23.17 at 03:46 am by Roy Osing
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October 16, 2017

How to survive the absolutely crazy tipping rules

The hospitality industry expects you to tip their employees and employees expect to be tipped.

Your bill arrives, and, under the guise of making it easier for the customer to calculate the tip, owners provide at least 3 options; the minimum amount is usually 15 - 18% and it heads north from there to at least 20% - remember when the minimum was 10%?

I object.

From a customer’s point of view, the tip is no longer useful to express one’s delight with the service provided. A tip is expected even if the service provided is shabby. Shabby service is rewarded perhaps with the minimum tip expected and the recognition for better service goes up from there.

Tipping

How many times have you NOT tipped? Very few times I suspect. Why? Because “everyone” expects you to; people believe that servers are somehow entitled to a percentage of the bill. And the customer “feels guilty” to not comply.

From an employee’s perspective, the tip no longer represents an incentive to deliver amazing service; it’s treated as a part of their salary.
Why bother when you can expect to receive the minimum tip regardless of how you treat the customer? I’m not talking about blatantly bad service, but if mediocre service is provided - displaying basic competence - servers “get paid” over and above their basic wage.

So why should a server stretch and treat their customers in that special exemplary way? There is no downside for the server especially when the base tip amount is at least 15%.

From the store owner’s perspective, the tip is an essential way to control operating costs and assuage employees’ demands for higher wages.
As long as their customers are prepared to tip their employees ever increasing amounts, and they effectively manage their other costs of doing business, employee wages can be contained.

The “benefit tree” from my perspective of the current tip paradigm looks like this: owners first - employees next - customers last.

Does this make any sense to you?

The basic intent of tipping has been watered down so much over the years, it has now been lost. It’s no longer a reward; it’s an expectation.

What to do?

Customers have to own the issue because owners and employees are unlikely to suggest a change to tipping - it’s not in their best interests.

Customers must…

1. Stop tipping for bad or less than satisfactory service (even if it’s a “back of the house” issue) and ask to speak to a manager. Explain why you didn’t tip and what should be done differently. Be constructive. Coach the manager. Don’t berate the employee unless you want your next meal mixed with sawdust.

2. Ignore the suggested tipping scale. Tip what you feel is appropriate. It’s time to empower ourselves and pay what we want NOT what they expect - why haven’t we always been entitled spend our money the way we want?

3. Expect blowback from your decision; be strong and prepared to defend your tip decision - It’s insane to have to do this, right?

4. Raise our expectations of service - I don’t care if they are “having a bad day”!
The only way the industry will improve service levels is if we “drag them up” with our higher level of expectations.
If the tip base is to be 20% - and I think it soon will be - don’t you think it’s reasonable to demand MORE sensitive caring service?

Only WE, the customer, can fix this problem. But do we collectively have what it takes to start a revolution to live our rights?

Somehow I think not.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Recent articles you might like
This is what happens if you’re not different
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  • Posted 10.16.17 at 02:46 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

October 9, 2017

This is what happens if you’re not different

If you are not different from others in some meaningful way, you will likely achieve no more than 50% of your potential; you leave 50% of your net worth on the table.

This is what young professionals face today as they begin their journey to fulfill their career dreams and be successful.

There are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs.

And the people in the crowd approaching organizations for an opportunity look the same.

When being interviewed, members of the job hunting herd are literally indistinguishable from one another.

— They have a boilerplate CV they downloaded from the internet.

— They talk mostly about their academic credentials and the marks they earned.

— They exhibit a superficial understanding of the organization they are speaking to and the challenges it faces.

— They don’t ask meaningful penetrating questions about the company and the markets it serves.

— Their answers to interview questions rely more on what they’ve been taught in school rather than from a practical perspective.

— The conversation is replete with standard cliches: “My strength is dealing with people”; “I understand new technologies”; “My weakness is trying to do too much, or I’m impatient at times” and on it goes.

If you're not different

When they cannot demonstrate something unique about themselves, they unfortunately provide a hiring organizations no compelling reason to pay attention to them over others and to consider them high for employment potential.

Some say that it is ok to possess skills and competencies similar to others; that there is a limit on how people can be different.

HOGWASH! That’s like saying there is no way you can turn a commodity into a differentiated product and we all know that is absolute rubbish.
Products can be made to be special in a myriad of ways and all it takes is imagination and creativity to create something different and unmatched in the marketplace - ever heard of The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas?

It’s no different with people.

Each and every one of us can be distinct from every other person in some special way if we are motivated to discover our specialness.

The problem is we have never been led to think that being different was expected. Rather, “the system” imposes on us conformance and compliance expectations and has brainwashed us to believe that fitting in was the only acceptable outcome.

The school system is all about grinding our students who have all mastered the same stuff in the same way.

Being different is not driven into young people; it’s frowned upon.

So the consequences of not being different are, first, young people have an extremely tough time getting a job and launching their career, and second, organizations are robbed of the creativity they need to survive and thrive in our unpredictable and chaotic world.

Double jeopardy with very unfortunate outcomes.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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How can people lose themselves in the boring crowd
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  • Posted 10.9.17 at 03:51 am by Roy Osing
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