Yes!  I am ready to Break Into a New Market

Customer Experience Moves Your Business

Customer Experience Moves Your Business

I know moving is very scary to most of us but I can say there is one positive ray of sunshine that comes through in every aspect of your business. When you move… you can start over. All of the bad things, sideways relationships, and experiences you have created or taken part in can be erased for the most part.  You can literally flush them down the drain and move forward with a better customer experience. You can build brand new relationships and meet new people that you want to work with. Another advantage to starting over is rebuilding your customer experience.

What is Customer Experience

In order to work on customer experience we must first define it. I will be honest, when I was researching this article, I came across 10 different definitions for customer experience that vary greatly. I will use the definition that best reflects how we represent our customer experience. According to Forrester Research, customer experience is: “How customers perceive their interactions with your company.” Just think about this for a second. All interactions are perceived customer experiences. This encompasses your entire business when stop and take a look at it.

Although customer experience encompasses your whole business, it mainly focuses on three aspects. As we look at each of these, we will see how we can use them in the context of moving your business. According to the Harvard Business Review, customer experience encompasses:

  1. Customer Journey– This is the journey customers take from point A to point Z. Understanding this journey is vital to understanding what your customers go through when they interact with your company. This highly involves processes and workflow. Are your processes streamlined and easy to understand or are they complicated? Looking over your process and workflow is vital when you move so you start your journey off right. For an in depth guide, download our series on workflow to really improve your clients journey.
  1. Touchpoints: Next we’ll look at how you provide touchpoints —products, web sites, advertising, call center, etc. — that support the customer through their journey. Think of a touchpoint as the physical or digital medium your client physically interacts with. This includes your emails, webpages, products, anything they touch. When you move, ensure all of your touchpoints  actually match your brand and communicate in your voice. A disconnect in brand or messaging can really fracture your client experience.
  1. Ecosystems: This concept is a little harder to understand but this should make sense. Think of an ecosystem as the business environment you create and the entities it impacts. Every business creates a working environment people interact with but your business also influences other entities around you as well. Your business impacts other vendors, competitors, and even suppliers. Who do you impact? Understanding your ecosystem as a whole in your new area will allow you to adjust your client experience so that you maximize your impact on others and serve your clients.

Conclusion

Customer experience is a broad word that everyone uses for for different meanings. The important thing to understand is that improving your customer experience should be one of the first things you look at when you relocate your business. Having a great customer experience is a great way to gain competitive advantage in a new market.

Knowing Your Numbers Moves Your Business

Know Your Numbers and Move Your BusinessKnowing Your Numbers

Imagine your day is going off without a hitch, just booked another client, had a great morning work out, and  just found out you’re being published in a major publication. This morning could not be going better. Then your spouse calls and you hear the words you thought you would never here: WE’RE MOVING. Your mind goes numb and all of a sudden you feel a sense of calm anxiousness that you’re not really sure about. You collect your thoughts and log onto the internet to look up your next steps. You come across something called the Restart Specialist and realize everything is going to be OK. In honor of our brand new course we are giving a little preview each week till our big release on April 19.

Common Questions About Your Numbers

The most common question, without a doubt, I get every time I meet with a client about to move is “where do I start”? This question may seem overwhelming at first but after this article it should be easy to understand. The first question everyone should have in their minds is “What are my numbers”?

What Numbers Do You Need to Know

Knowing your numbers really seems like a low priority. I mean, shouldn’t you be focused on marketing in your new area or building a relationship? NO! Before you start anything, you need to know where you are at this point. The best place to start this journey is knowing how your business is functioning right now. Here are a few numbers that are really important to know:

1. Profit and Loss Statement- this will help you to see how much money you have made and spent so far. If you have spent a lot of money so far for the year and don’t have a lot coming in, this could impact your marketing plan for your new area.

2. Total Operating Costs- Assess how much it costs to keep the doors open for your business. Keep in mind this is the bare essentials such as insurance, licensure, debt, and

things like that. Once you have this cost, make sure you save up enough to fund your

business for a year.

3. Total assets- What property do you own? How much money do you have in your accounts? Knowing your total assets will allow you to get an accurate inventory of your property and equipment. This is really useful for insurance and will allow you to see what property you can possibly sell before you move so you don’t have to move it in the first place.

I know moving is stressful. Believe me, I have done it four times in eight years and I can personally tell you it is, at time frustrating. Knowing your numbers and having a definitive plan will help you to be successful. Stay tuned too next week as we look at what kind of client experience your business offers. Please stay tuned for more updates as we launch our new and upcoming course on moving your business without fear.

SaveSave

Final thoughts on Mindset

Final Thoughts on MindsetTo culminate what we have discussed about inward and outward mindset, I will be addressing a very common topic among creatives.  I would ask that while reading this article you keep an open mind and try to look at old concepts with a new perspective. The major buzz phrase around the creative community for the last three years or so is “community over competition”. The intent of this phrase was to instill a sense of wanting to help others to foster a community atmosphere among the wedding industry. Sounds great in theory, but turned out to be one of the most toxic experiments I have ever seen. Instead of producing this sense of “community”, an atmosphere of fear and guilt for not giving up product or knowledge has taken over the industry. In this article I hope to discuss this topic further and propose a possible solution that will help.

Lets discuss what went wrong with the original concept of “community over competition”. If you look up the strict definition of community it states “feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” Since all of us are in the wedding industry sand want to be successful we are a “community”. Sounds good, right? This could not be further from the truth. Over time, this concept mutated to a sense that all of us must help out one another to be successful and if you don’t you are not part of the community. The reason this concept has mutated so much is that the wedding industry was never a community in the first place.

I know that last statement probably pissed off a lot of people but here me out. In order to be a community we have to share common attitudes, interests, and goals. All wedding vendors fall under the big umbrella of “wedding world” and may share some similarities but have very different goals, interests, and even jobs. Therefore, it is very difficult for all of us to be a community with such differences. I propose, a better way to look at the wedding industry as a whole is simply as people.

People have individual goals, ideas, and interests. In order to embrace these differences we must look at each person with an outward mindset (term coined by the Arbinger Institute). In an outward mindset others matter like I matter. “With an outward mindset, I am alive to others. I care about their needs, goals, and objectives.” In this mindset, I truly want other people to succeed. Some people may interpret this as to simply give them whatever they want (inward mindset). In a true outward mindset, I look at each person and think to myself “how can I help?”. Sometimes that might be giving information or letting them fail (doing the hard, right over the easy, wrong). Regardless, treating people as people is more individualized and focused on their success as people.

I hope you have enjoyed this series. To further learn about the outward mindset you can also read Leadership and Self Deception, Anatomy of Peace, and the Outward Mindset written by the Arbinger Institute. If you are a more visual learner, you can watch this webinar as one of the founding partners explains mindset. If you would like coaching on how to implement mindset into your business please contact the Restart Specialist.

SAM for Your Business

SAM and Mindset for your BusinessFor the last couple of weeks, we have talked about the two prevailing mindsets: inward and outward mindset. When you are in an inward mindset, your focus is on your own goals and ambitions. You have no regard for the impact you have on others around you. When you are in an outward mindset, your focus is on others and you are aware of how you impact their success.

These concepts sound great but how can I use them in business? Mindset is everything related to what you do. Mindset influences all that you do and most importantly how you think and your behaviors towards others. Have you ever found yourself at odds with an employee you can’t get through? Have you ever been in a slump with your business? If you say yes ask yourself, how have you contributed to this situation? Once you answer this question with true honesty, you can finally see how the inward mindset clouded your mind. This mindset dulls your senses and perception so that you can’t see clearly. When you are in the inward mindset, you will drive your business to fail. This is why being aware of your mindset is so critical in your business.

In order to get out of the inward mindset, you must be aware you are in it in the first place. Some common symptoms of the inward mindset are: feeling victimized, thinking everyone is out to get you, feeling entitled. These are just a few but it is important to know what are your own signs when you are in this mindset and how to get out of it. One of the tools I use for this requires SAM.

SAM is a little acronym we use to refocus our efforts and get us back into an outward mindset. When you are aware of that inward mindset monster use SAM:

S- See others: The first step to seeing others is seeing others needs, wants, desires, or challenges. Then ask lots of questions and get really curious.

A- Adjust efforts: Take all of the needs and objectives into account and adjust efforts to assist.

M- Measure: Ask if you have been helpful and gauge your impact. Hold yourself accountable

This tool is truly simple but effective. If you would like to learn more I encourage you to visit the Arbinger Institute website. There is lots of information regarding mindset. In addition, schedule your coaching session with the Restart Specialist and allow us to make your mindset the best it can be.

SaveSave

Two Bright Lights and Moving a Business

Moving a Business

I would be lying if I said moving a business is easy.  It takes a lot of work and research but is possible to do well with the right planning and tools in place.  When I first started relocating my baby business back in 2009, the reality was that I had no idea what I was doing and there was a LOT of trial and error involved.  Fast forward to 2018  and we have found a process that allows us to move a business every three years cross country while booking clients in new markets long before we ever get there.  I don’t say this to brag but to share with you that it is possible to have a thriving business despite frequent moves.  One of our best tools for that is publications.

Two Bright Lights and Relocation

As my business grew and evolved over the past nine years one of the best tools we have found for relocation is, publications.  They have helped us break into new regions and markets despite being new to the area.  Today we are sharing some of our top ways to use publications and break into new markets through the Two Bright Lights platform.  Want to know how?  Head over to the Two Bright Lights Blog to find out but before you do, make sure that you sign up for our newsletter below because we have something HUGE . . EPIC . . LIFE CHANGING coming in April.

SaveSave

Outward Mindest Grows Business

Outward Mindset Grows

Last week we talked about the most pervasive and distructive mindset here.  When we are in an inward mindset we think others don’t matter like I matter. You may view people as objects and not actually as human beings.  In order to be in an inward mindset, we have to dehumanize people to view them as objects.

Consequences

What are the consequences for this mindset? Relationships are ruined over petty things, employees relationships are hurt, your ability to truly help people is compromised. Sounds pretty bad, but in this article our focus is to explain the mindset that will get you the results you want for your business.

Outward Thinking

The outward mindset is the missing link to your business success. In fact, the McKinsey Group (global consulting firm) stated

“Organizations that identify and address pervasive mindsets at the outset are four times more likely to succeed in organizational-change efforts than are companies that overlook this stage.”

In addition, there are preliminary studies being conducted currently, showing that when organizations focus on shifting to an outward mindset, employee and supervisor job satisfaction increase and staff cohesiveness grow.

Now that you can see the possibilities with this, I want to share what it is. Imagine a shift, so that you are aware of what is going on around you.  According to the Arbinger

“An outward mindset means that I am aware of, and interested in, other people’s needs, objectives, and challenges, not just my own.”

Applying this to a bigger organization, employees know they are part of a bigger objective and they know their role is important, but they perform their roles in a way that helps other to be successful in their mission.

One important factor of this mindset that is often confused is the concept of being “nice”. When I teach an Arbinger course, almost every class someone says

“so this mindset thing is just being nice to people.”

This is the farthest thing from the truth. In an outward mindset you care about others and their success. Sometimes letting people succeed means you have to let them fail or figure it out on their own. A good example of this is employees that are slacking off or turn in sub-standard work. Supervisors that let the employee get away with sub par work, do you think they care about that employee? Probably not, and as a result will probably put them in an inward mindset.

I hope this gives you a good foundation for an outward mindset. For further information please read Arbinger Institute list of works. If this is the first article you are reading, start the series at the beginning…

How Inward Mindset Kills Community

Inward Mindset Kills

The number one thing that kills community is your mindset.  Now before we begin, I would ask that you keep an open mind and try to look at old concepts with a new perspective. The major buzz phrase around the creative community for the last three years or so is “community over competition”. The intent of this phrase was to instill a sense of wanting to help others to foster a community atmosphere among the wedding industry. Sounds great in theory, but  instead of producing this sense of community, it has created the opposite in some areas, which makes me sad.

The Original Concept of Community

Originally the concept of “community over competition” was and in some cases, still is fantastic. The definition of community states that it is a “feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” Since all of us are in the wedding industry and want to be successful we are a “community”.

Right now you are probably saying . . . ah well duh.

Hang with me for a minute though . . I have been blessed to see how Community over Competition really works in some areas and I am so very GRATEFUL for that.  However, there are cases where others have used it purely as an excuse to shame or guilt others into something because their concept of community has mutated.

The Mutated Giant

Over time, this concept of community mutated due to something called an inward mindset and it is the true cancer that kills communities and destroys the original thoughts behind “Community over Competition”.  It takes a phrase that embodies an outward thinking mindset and twists it to put self first at the harm of others.  YUCK!

The True Community

People have individual goals, ideas, and interests. In order to embrace these differences we must look at each person with an outward mindset (term coined by the Arbinger Institute). In an outward mindset others matter like I matter. “With an outward mindset, I am alive to others. I care about their needs, goals, and objectives.” In this mindset, I truly want other people to succeed. Some people may interpret this as to simply give them whatever they want. In a true outward mindset, I look at each person and think to myself “how can I help?”. Sometimes that might be giving information or letting them fail (doing the hard, right over the easy, wrong). Regardless, treating people as people is more individualized and focused on their success as people.

To further learn about the outward mindset you can also read Leadership and Self Deception, Anatomy of Peace, and the Outward Mindset written by the Arbinger Institute.

Business Mindset

Business Mindset

In March we are focusing on our mindset ( it really sounds cool as a title “march mindset”).  Many people today throw the word “mindset” around as an ambiguous term to mean the same as emotional state, feelings, or even thought process.

To really dive into this upcoming months topic, I turned to the experts at the Arbinger Institute.  Their work in the area of mindset is really revolutionary and has drastically changed the way I interact with clients, my colleagues, and my family. Above all, becoming a facilitator for mindset training has become the most impactful training, personally, I have ever completed.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when we say the word mindset? Some people say it is how people interact with one another or how they act in response towards a situation. These are only partially true.  In its most simplest terms, it is our perception or how we see other other people. Think of it as a lens of how we see our colleagues, family, relationships, bosses, and any other person you basically come into contact with. Mindset is the foundation of how we perceive others and shapes how we interact with them.

The tricky thing about it is its ever persistent tendency to change in an instant. According to Arbinger, all people are in constant flux between two mindsets:

inward and outward

These two opposing sides are in constant struggle with one another and can sway in an instant between the two. If this sounds a little out there, let’s share an example:

You have an employee who you just caught with something in their hand (lets say its something you sell) walking out the door? You have been on great terms with this employee and they have worked with you for years. What is your first reaction, anger, resentment, rage? Consider this, do you know anything more about this situation, what are the facts, and what made you react this way? This is a great example of how mindset can greatly influence our behavior.

Over the next few weeks we will be discussing inward and outward mindset as it pertains to your business. So to kick us off I recommend you do two things:

  1. Take the Arbinger Individual Assessment to see where your mindset is right now
  2. Start reading Leadership and Self Deception to grasp a foundation for mindset

Very important note, mindset is a journey and not a destination. Achieving an outward mindset is not something you will ever reach permanently. The goal is to become self aware so that you recognize when your mindset goes inward, and then know how to shift it back to outward.

Final Thoughts on Workflow

Workflow Final Thoughts

Over the last five weeks we have covered many different topics. If you have implemented the techniques and tools  that were covered, you should see a huge difference in your workflow and, hopefully, your efficiency.  We have one final part of this workflow series and it can be found in our workflow e-book here. With this series, I hope that you will start to reclaim time that is important to each and every one of you and achieve a more balanced work/life state.

The Workflow is Your Baby

Please keep in mind your workflow is your baby and your responsibility. You have to take care of it and mold it as your business grows. In other words, your workflow is never really finished. Many people who are very involved with process improvement say that workflow is a journey and not a destination. This brings me to my final point I want to impress upon all of you, ensure you maintain your workflow.

This series of articles is meant to be a starting point on your journey. Maintaining your workflow will need to be done as long as your business exists. The easiest way we have found to maintaining our workflow is reviewing it as often as we can. We really try to review our workflow after each client. This way the adjustments that need to be made, if any, our still fresh in our mind and they are not forgotten as I am sure none of us have other things to do. This process takes less than five minutes in total. By doing this, you are creating an environment of continuous process improvement with your business.

I hope all of you have enjoyed this series as much as I have in writing it. I would love to hear great stories any of you have related to improving your workflow. We love to hear success stories. Please reach out to us at info@therestartspecialist.com with your stories. In addition, if you feel your workflow needs some more attention or is really complicated please contact us for a coaching session so we can develop an individualized plan that fits your business.

SaveSave

Customer Experience Moves Your Business » The Restart SpecialistApril 10, 2018 - 1:47 am

[…] when you move so you start your journey off right. For an in depth guide, download our series on workflow to really improve your clients […]

How Do We Define Waste in Workflow | Part 4

Define Waste in Workflow

Last week, we looked at how we utilize our time. I am hoping from that exercise it really brought a lot of things into perspective. Today, we are going to take those results and really analyze to see where we are wasting our time. First, how do we define waste?

In a very strict sense, according to the go Lean Six Sigma Site waste is “any step or action in a process that is not required to complete a process (called “Non Value-Adding”) successfully.” Our goal is to get rid of as much waste as possible so that we are left with steps in the workflow that actually help us to complete the process and add value for our clients or “Value-adding”. This part in the process is probably the hardest step to complete. You have to come to the realization that some of my time is waste. An easier way to remember the kinds of waste is to remember my good friend Mr Tim Woods:

  • T – Transportation – Moving people, products & information
  • I – Inventory – Storing parts, pieces, documentation ahead of requirements
  • M – Motion – Bending, turning, reaching, lifting (So yes, any movement is waste)
  • W – Waiting – For parts, information, instructions, equipment
  • O – Over production – Making more than is IMMEDIATELY required
  • O – Over processing – Tighter tolerances or higher grade materials than are necessary
  • D – Defects – Rework, scrap, incorrect documentation
  • S – Skills – Under utilizing capabilities, delegating tasks with inadequate training

So how does this apply to our workflow? Lets look at those times we wrote down last week a little closer:

  1. Look at your times you wrote down and see what steps in your workflow you are spending a lot of time on
  2. For each of the identified steps ask yourself:
    1. Will this add to my client experience (value added)?
    2. Does this have to be accomplished for my business?
    3. What is the worst thing that could happen if this is removed?
  3. If the majority of the questions above are no or nothing would happen if this step is gone, you should consider taking it out.
  4. You would do this for all of your major steps identified
  5. For each step you can eliminate put a “X” through them on your workflow diagram.
  6. Look at other steps to see if they can be consolidated or redistributed to other people.

No Excuses

As you are looking at these steps the two pieces of advice I can give you is to be honest and just go by the numbers. A lot of clients I work with feel very passionately about their workflow and will make excuses not to touch or modify it. Even when their process is making them go bankrupt financially or in their relationship. I advise my clients to avoid this by understanding that the step, in consideration, is not a reflection of you or who you are. It does not and will not ever define you or your business. This step is nothing more than a step in your process you need to evaluate to see if it is helping to serve your clients.

The goal of this part in the process is to get rid of waste and redistribute steps among people to maximize efficiency.  Want to develop your action plan now?  Check back in next week to find out how.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason is a Arbinger, Spectrum, and Crucial Conversations Coach as well as a workflow specialist.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Hello & Welcome

Exhausted from trying to break into a new market and have no idea what needs to be done to keep your creative business growing?  You are in the right place, friend!

The Restart Specialist was born out of our constant nomadic life and the search for answers on relocating a business without fear. I am so excited your here. Pull up a chair, settle in with a good cup of coffee and lets get started.

  

  

Popular Posts

  

Featured In:

Menu