How ‘work’ brings in more ‘WORK?
In my school years, I read a quote in a book on management that business is the art of being and staying busy. At the age of 15, it is hard for most teenagers to understand such things, and even more so, me, who was planning to be a journalist or advertising suit.
Little did I know that 20 years later, I would begin to understand the wisdom in those lines. Truly, business is an art where you paint your livelihood through the use of words, pictures, stories, recommendations and word of mouth. And yes, there is yet a massive curve of learning in knowing how to be busy and then how to stay being busy.
The art of business is a unique combination of sales, marketing and management.
The art of selling is all about finding the needs / wants of the consumer and then positioning your product / service to best meet those demands in a way that the paying customers wants to buy.
The art of marketing is communicating those needs / wants, or even better, how that product / service will solve those demands in an economical way.
The art of management is ensuring that what you promise is delivered on time and in budget (without screw ups) to the satisfaction of the customer.
But in between, the sales, marketing and management is the science of being busy (managing existing projects) and staying busy (lead generation or pipeline continuation).
When I worked in retail sales, it took a lot of effort every week of every month, especially the quiet periods, to ensure that customers kept visiting the stores and trying clothes on. Whether it ended in sales, was not my focus. In fact, I have never really tried to sell anything to anyone – forcibly or unwillingly.
I realised that as long as more and more people saw the stuff, and tried it on, the ones that want it will eventually buy it, and probably at the best price, which works really well for them too.
The same rules apply to every business, be it product or service or hybrid; be it in-store, out-of-store or online; be it traditional or disruptive as they say. It’s not as simple as a numbers game, but there is some truth in it.
What is not needed is to be busy wasting time on people who will never purchase or recommend your product / service? What is also not needed is to enter into mindless arguments to force your stuff down an unsuspecting prospect’s throat?
What is needed is the ability to listen, understand and find solutions to customer’s problems; and try to solve them with the available resources, ensuring they are happy with what they have received, and will hopefully come back when they want more. If in this process, you can make them your advocates or ambassadors then that’s the best outcome.
The ‘work’ that you put in, will compound over weeks, months and years into ‘WORK’ that will be sustainable and profitable. The initial ‘work’ has to be of an acceptable quality, thorough in detail and specifications, and be within budget, time and recommendable. That’s all about the input – the best ingredients going in at the right balance, consistency and ratio.
The ‘WORK’ that you will get out, is of improved quality time after time, and give you the ability to bring in innovation resulting in even smarter, faster, better products / services. That WORK will also be profitable, as you will achieve scale in volume and reach with your production and design. That scale will multiply revenue as you will appeal to more of the ‘best type’ of clients who are looking for your kind of WORK. That’s all about the output – the best results which can be repeated over and over again.
In my humble business of making custom tailored clothing (www.azrim.com.au), I have lived by this principle of being busy and staying busy. When I’m not seeing clients, I’m talking to my factory, or I’m networking with business connections, or chatting to friends on how I can be of help to get their business busy. (I do enjoy sleeping but that’s being busy dreaming, which is equally important).
The little work in the early years, has managed to survive a recession and the changing moods of fashion and clothing across two countries over 12 years. This has been on the motivation of meeting another new customer, who will give me work, and refer me work, even if it’s just one shirt or tie. It’s the collective quantity but built over small numbers, to achieve volume, without compromising on quality.
When you look at the most successful people in any field of work, this is the first characteristic you will find in them. They’re always busy doing something that is related to their work, in search of continuous learning and improvement. That’s how you differentiate the best from the OK, by their sincerity in what they do, and the passion they bring into the work.
And yes, I can imagine many of you singing the Rihanna song WORK WORK WORK (just a beautiful coincidence or did I just work it into your head ) !!!