Have you hit tough times? When racking your brain to find a way to get back on track as revenue and profits decline is not enough, it’s time to overhaul your thinking.
The first step is accepting there’s a problem. The next is accepting your current methods are not the solution. It takes courage to admit these but once you know you have to change, the change process itself becomes much easier to handle.
Here are five ways how adopting the Positive Impact Model will either save you or stop you from hitting the bottom. The more you embrace learning, the faster you’ll see positivity.
1. Change, Change, Change
Change is happening all the time everywhere. You will learn to love it and keep moving. A common phrase in creative agencies is that you’re only as good as your last job. Every job done needs to be improved on. Every process, product, procedure and policy needs to evolve, all the time. Not only do most business focus purely on an end outcome and ignore lessons learned, they structure themselves to hinder change rather than encourage it. Whether by attitude that this is how it’s always been done or by laziness that if it’s not broke then don’t fix it, your business or parts of your business is preferring to stagnate rather than develop. On every project, understand learnings then use the them to drive and implement improvement is a good place to start.
2. Change Will Be Directed Towards Your Customer
You will get strategic. You’ve probably already tried everything else, like price reductions, special offers, cutting costs and reducing budgets. When markets are tough, there is only one strategy and that’s to make your customer your purpose. That means a move away from focusing purely making money and towards the needs of your customer. They are not financial, they are emotional. Although you may find it difficult to accept purchasing decisions are always based on instinct or feeling then rationalised afterwards. During tough times the customers hold the power. Spend becomes more considered and less impulsive. It’s even more emotional as the need to guarantee a satisfactory purchase increases. You will learn to put the customer at the centre then as you bring in changes, you can make sure that every improvement, however small, is one that will benefit your customer. Focus on benefiting them and the money will come.
3. You Will Become Long-sighted
A long-term vision takes you further. So many businesses put all their energy into firefighting the immediate challenges that they lose direction and do an inferior job of the task at hand. It will take some effort to move from tackling the here and now to scheduling projects well in advance. The benefits, however, will turn your business around. Not only will many of the challenges you think are important fade away completely, you and your teams will work be more creative, make better decisions, work less hours and achieve better results. Did you know, Selfridges London, launches its Christmas Shop in July? With a minimum planning period of 12 months, it means working at least 18 months ahead of the celebration. What’s smart is that Christmas is peak trade for the retailer, some brands taking more than 70% of their annual revenue from the seasonal range.
4. It Will Shake Things Up
You will do things differently. Progression is built on newness. Customers want something that’s been developing. It needs to be interesting, engaging, creative and spend-worthy. You don’t need a fully-pledged research department, you need to adopt a mentality of asking ‘what’s the next upgrade?’ Companies who focus on innovation roadmaps will stagger developments so that they are always delivering something new and fresh, increasing ROI over time. You can always run tests and trials before major roll-outs but you will be open minded about what can work. You’ll almost certainly stumble on an unexpected idea that will increase popularity and differentiates you from your competition.
5. You Will Find the Win-Win-Win
When the going gets tough, the tough join forces in partnerships and collaborations. The most successful collaborations offer customers added-value while profiting the brands involved. Not only is a strong brand partnership a great way to tap into a new customers and market, by its nature it drives creativity and innovation. The collaboration period doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the resulting benefit. You will learn how to consider brands that share mutual values and complementary purpose. Successful big brand partnerships include Nike and Apple; Alexander Wang and H&M; BMW and Mont Blanc; and Cover Girl and Lucas Film.