When you get what you want in your struggles for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
Some people might think you’re a straight-shooting chum
And call you a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest
For he’s with you clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most dangerous test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
- Author unknown
When you are ready to sell your business, will your business be ready to sell?
Selling my business 11 years ago taught me many lessons that I learned in the process and in the years since. Distance from “the hurricane” of running a business has many benefits. I have tried to distill those lessons and what I see and hear while working with so many business owners over the course of my career. The result is this little eBook: Don’t Perfume The Pig. My hope is that, when you are ready to sell your business, you will be better prepared than I was.
As with my first book, I think it is important to deliver practical information in a quick read with as little “filler” as possible. I hope you find it valuable, a good reference and something that will start your thinking about your own business and what you want it to do for you.
I also hope you will share it with as many business owners as you can.
Click here to download “Don’t Perfume The Pig” as a FREE PDF.
My special thanks to the great Kevin Cornell for the amazing cover design.
Spotted this on the blog of Dustin Curtis and thought it was a great find. Despite Groupon getting clobbered in the public markets, the sentiment and approach to how they think about their business and the purpose they want it to serve is terrific.
From their S1 filing (Emphasis added is my own):
We want the time people spend with Groupon to be memorable. Life is too short to be a boring company. Whether it’s with a deal for something unusual, such as fire dancing classes, or a marketing campaign such as Grouspawn, we seek to create experiences for our customers that make today different enough from yesterday to justify getting out of bed. […]
We believe that when once-great companies fall, they don’t lose to competitors, they lose to themselves—and that happens when they stop focusing on making people happy. As such, we do not intend to be reactive to competitors. We will watch them, but we won’t distract ourselves with decisions that aren’t designed primarily to make our customers and merchants happy.
I just finished re-reading Tom Kelley’s excellent book: “Ten Faces of Innovation.” It remains one of my favorite business reads. There is a section towards the end of the book that focuses on “the subject of waiting – an unavoidable element in most customer journeys- and I believe that the way you manage those critical wait times can make all the difference in how your company is perceived.“
Too few consider that the entire time your current or potential customer is waiting for you they are interacting with your brand and your company.
Mr. Kelley points out a variety of strategies to keep people informed, as they wait, that mainly center around music/messages on hold and that friendly voice that tells you your expected wait time. These options are certainly better than dead air but they have existed for over 10 years. It’s simply old news and really doesn’t dramatically change the experience of waiting. If I am waiting for you, I am already inside YOUR customer experience. So… make it an experience! There simply has been too little innovation in customer waiting time.
And there is an opportunity for you to seize.
If you do not know where waiting is occurring within your customer experience then that is the first place to focus on. Find out and write them all down. Figure out what they are doing while they are waiting. Are they on hold? on a line? Are they lost in the dark while waiting for a delivery? You don’t need to put together a task force for this or have a bunch of meetings. Grab a pad, call 10 customers and ask them.
What information could you be giving them during this time that would make that time truly valuable and memorable? Implementing innovation in just this area will make an enormous impact. Make it a goal to implement just 1 new tactic In the next 30 days. Repeat as necessary.
Virtually every network we have, the water network, the telephone network and the electric power network has enormously complex components that are hidden from consumers. Consumers have rather simple devices that access these enormously complex networks. In the PC era, we had a complex devices connected to a complex network. With the Internet, this all started to change. We could take all of the complexity out of the end user devices and move that complexity back into the network and then supply consumers with a very, very simple device.
-Larry Ellison, CEO, Oracle
The above commentary has stayed with me for some time as the impact of the core idea is enormous. Too often we look to show off the complexity of the network we are delivering to show how much we know about it. That may make us feel better, but it is exactly the opposite of what a consumer or business is really looking for. It is not what they value.
So the challenge for us all is to look for complex networks in what we do and begin a relentless mission to deliver it with the simplicty that rivals a basic telephone, water faucet and light switch.