Exposing yourself may get you arrested, but for a small business it is critical. Too many startups fail to clearly communicate who they are – I mean who they REALLY are.
Today I held a speech for approx. 250 small business leaders from an association in Norway called Growth Companies (Vekstbedriftene). These companies are all small manufacturing or service companies that employ handicapped workers. Some of their employees have physical handicaps, others have psychological handicaps, but all are special people with special needs. These Growth Companies must adapt the work environments and the tasks to the specific needs of each worker. Yes, the government subsidizes their companies, but the focus here is on creating top-quality products, providing excellent customer support and giving employees meaningful and productive work. They asked me to speak on how to increase sales revenues in spite of the downturn of the finance crisis.
As I see it, the biggest challenge these companies have is to clearly expose themselves. If I can choose between similar price and similar quality products from two different suppliers, then I will usually choose the one that gives me the greatest value. And what is that value? Some of it is the product, but there are so many other aspects. For example, I like to purchase Max Havelaar bananas because I know that more of the money goes directly to the farmers. I like products from Body Shoppe because of their policy of not using animals for research. I buy coffee at my local coffee shop because it tastes good, but I also purchase there in order to support a local business. Buying a product is much more than just price – it is also about an experience and extra value.
Products from these Growth Companies are indeed produced by a special workforce – people who need a bit of extra help, but I get a lot of joy from making a purchase from the heart. When I get to help others, I get the payback satisfaction of knowing I did something good. That is good value for the money.
My challenge to the leaders of these companies is: make it more apparent and visible that you are selling more than just a product. Expose yourself and let your market know that you offer more value than the pricetag shows. For all you consumers out there, remember that you are not just purchasing a product to consume, but when given the choice you are also making a statement and a contribution to a good cause. Purchase with your heart.
Want to turn-around your business and achieve huge results in record time? Contact me to discuss Executive Coaching, Group Facilitation and Management for Hire services. You can learn more at www.ricksalmon.com and at www.xelerator.com.
Rick Salmon is an energetic entrepreneur who believes that this beautiful world that we have created needs our help. Subscribe to this blog to receive frequent updates.
For more information about the Vekstbedriftene (Growth Companies) see: http://ricksalmon.com/vekstbedrifter/ or http://asvl.no