Just like our minds, our businesses need to have the cobwebs cleared once in a while to function the most effectively. It can be easy to get stuck in an inefficient rut if we’re not careful, and elect not to continually reflect and understand just how our previous performance can inform our current decision making. While the end of the fiscal year is on its way, now can be a fantastic time to think about rejuvenating your business direction. It might not be that you decide to drop your entire product line and begin anew, that you focus on a multi million pound new marketing strategy, or that you even lay off and rehire entire departments. It might be that you do all of this and more. Only you can tell what your business truly needs.
But just like an ocean liner, if we hope to begin facing a new direction, we need to turn a few degrees left or right. Over the course of upcoming time, the difference in direction will be easy to see, even if it might not change things much initially. That doesn’t mean a lack of completely immediate change will not be worth it. However, sometimes the opposite approach can be worthwhile, especially if you wish to trial or experiment with something, and the only way to find out if it’s effective or not is to begin work right now.
Brand ambassadors can be extremely useful in getting the word of your business out there. You might hire this position internally, or perhaps put out a recruitment ad for those wishing to help sell your products. Of course, this useful tactic has unfortunately been soiled by multi-level marketing schemes that have become controversial for extremely valid reasons. This is why appointing internal brand ambassadors might be the best idea. When a person knows your employee actually works for you directly, they are much more likely to listen to what they have to say.
But what could be the function of a brand ambassador? Well, it depends on what kind of product you sell. If you’re a drinks company, it might be that you wish to tour local cafes and restaurants in a town, and try to convince the owner that ordering a number of your items regularly might help their customers both respond well, and continue to come in to the cafe for said item. Bringing along samples and a Pay Anywhere unit for an immediate ordering, this form of direct salesmanship can not only help you sell more, but help you build a personal relationship with the outlets you hope to sell to.
It could be that your service is something that operates monthly. It might be that you sell a license to your software or other form of easily distributable good online. It could be that you offer an entire package for large investment, but this investment puts off a large demographic. We’re speaking rather generally here, so let’s use a concrete example. Imagine that you sell software for creative individuals. Due to the cost of manufacture and the wish to make money from licensing, you sell the whole suite. However, this potentially isolates students from being able to engage and use your software. It might stop small businesses.
It might be that in this case, a quick switch to a subscription model could not only open up a much wider audience, but get more people enrolled in your product economy, as well as making more profit in the long term. Consider how your pricing structure is setup. Even implementing bundles, cross-promotions, and rewards for those who are repeat customers can help the idea of a purchase become a no-brainer. That is what you should be aiming for, and it might be that a new idea could go a long way in your particular industry. Who knows just how competitive this approach could help you become?
Partnerships could be a very lucrative thing to consider implementing in the business strategy of your firm. Not only does entering a partnership with another firm help you achieve some intended goal, such as bringing an exceptional service or product to the world, but can help you benefit from two different set of exposure platforms.
Of course, it might not be that you’ll partner with an extremely well-known business in your humble first years. It might not be that you partner with your direct competition. But partnerships can be much more flexible than you might imagine. Consider the story of Spotify and Headspace. Spotify is known as one of the world’s most popular music streaming platforms, going head to head with Amazon Music and Apple Music. Instead of partnering with another streaming service or music provider, in 2017 they decided to enact a cross-promotion with Headspace, a meditation app.
They were both betting that despite operating in different fields, the similarities of their delivery and potential audience could net them both a benefit. They offered customers the chance to sign up for Spotify to receive a certain free period of Headspace usage. Not only did this combine the two audiences, but helped create loyal customers of both brands. This is how a partnership, because not direct but parallel, flourish. Consider how you might be wise in a similar endeavor, even if that simply means acting as a patron of a smaller firm.
Is your firm innovating? If not, why not? Sometimes your perspective is all it takes to contribute to a new product or service, something that hasn’t been seen before. Using one of these partnerships, or potentially new revenue sources, you might find yourself investing in something a little risky, but with a potentially massive payoff. No one expected Amazon to develop one of the leading E-Readers and AI companions on the market, but they did it. Investing in this, even if for the little benefits, could be an exceptional goal for you in 2019.