Doing Business in the 21st Century

by Frank Thomas

Things definitely have become more complex over the past 100 years. I would dare say that you could say that things have grown more complex in even the past 10 years.


Several reasons that come to mind include:

  • Level of sophistication that client’s expect before considering the offer. Let’s face it, we will always judge a gift by the bow on the present. Business is no different. When you enter a business meeting where you are selling your services, it’s always easier to sell from a position of authority then a position of defense. Would you want your sales people to be visiting a client in dirty jeans and a ripped t-shirt or a clean looking business suit?
  • Profit margins are not as wide as they once were. Because of the globalization of our market, you are now competing with the whole wide world and not just your local competition. This forces prices down and requires more jobs to profit at the same levels.
  • Level of expectation of the client has also risen. There was once a time where simple gifts to entice a sale would perform well, but those times are long gone. These simple gifts are expected now. You have to move to the next step of ‘giving’ to capture new clients.

With these odds, one can see how many countries (noticed I didn’t say communities), are now in financial troubles. If businesses were working hard to keep a bit a head of the curve, instead of depending on yesterday’s strategies, they would do much better in today’s economy.

How to Turn a Disadvantage Into an Advantage

All is not lost though. If you can discover where your business is struggling, then you can pretty much guess that other businesses in your industry are performing much the same way.

If you can then discover how to turn is disadvantage of your business into a strong advantage in your prospective client’s mind, then you will win at the end of the day.

Let’s take a quick example. Within my business, I use the open source web platform called WordPress pretty extensively. This turned out to be a bit of a disadvantage in the beginning, as it held my business’ progress back a bit.

But in the long term, I was able to push through and become the expert in the WordPress platform. So much so, that I’ve been able to take my WordPress skills to the global level and gain a worldwide clientele base that is looking for the best to handle their WordPress issues and are willing to pay for those highly specialized services.

But this required me to move beyond the crowd, in the customer’s mind. This is an important difference. I had to be better then the other’s in my prospective customer’s mind.

This requires me to anticipate my customer’s needs before they arise. This also requires me to truly know my stuff in my area of expertise. Finally, this needs to be conveyed to my prospective clients’ minds.

So, how are you going to move beyond the crowd and stand out to the global community? You may be surprised at what you will uncover in your business that can turn disadvantage into advantage.

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