Stand out!


“It’s not what you do – it’s what you do differently that counts” (Patrick Mahan)


A trades-based business client has improved and grown their business (they are a husband & wife partnership) over the past two or three years. It’s been a pleasure working with them as, in most cases, they have grasped good business principles and have implemented them with beneficial effect.

Recently, we were discussing the fact that they were in the process of reviewing their data base, with the main aim of checking the status of accounts and the business that had been transacted – all meaningful activities aimed at understanding the commercial nature of the various relationships. The major principle involved here, is that of measurement. (US management guru, Peter Drucker coined the phrase “you can’t measure it, if you can’t manage it”.)

However, in discussing the data base itself, it became evident that there were almost 1000 names on the data base – either current or past clients – and this in a regional town in Western Australia. It struck me that there was a real opportunity for this client to further differentiate themselves (beyond providing a great service) by introducing a regular newsletter. It could comprise recent successes, new techniques, government legislation affecting clients’ operations and environmental considerations, as applicable.

My question was “How many of your competitors would bother about considering such a move?” Answer: “None”. Think for a moment about the effect that such a communication would have on clients in the data base; brief and to-the-point interesting and informative subject matter delivered regularly - I would suggest every 3 months as a starter. Surely, recipients could not be anything other than super-impressed.

Many city-based mainstream businesses take a strategic approach to communicating with their target markets. Other businesses work in an environment where this is not the norm. By making this move, I suggest, the business offers a real point of difference and the market is quick to pick up on those that are making an extra effort.

Do you want to be average – or to stand out, and above, the competition?

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What John Matthew believes about small business

That the owner has risked many things that others take for granted;

That there is no guaranteed income or reward for the considerable effort that is required;

That often, the family home is on the line to support the business and its constituents;

That there is a dignity and self-respect that is earned;

That entire communities would be better places if there was an increased appreciation and respect for small business.

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