One Big Kick or 100 Little Ones?

by Steven Hourston on July 6, 2012

Does your business need one big kick or 100 little ones?

Is there a silver bullet that could transform your business? Is there just one thing that will catapult you to the success you dream of?

I doubt it, but a lot of time and energy can be wasted in searching for an elusive shortcut.

I used to lead large teams of people. Nothing gave me greater pleasure than investing in their development. I liked to stretch their thinking beyond their insular corporate view of the world and give them fresh perspectives. One of the best sessions we ran was with Humphrey Walters. Humphrey played an important behind the scenes role in England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup win.

He believed they won the World Cup because they focussed on what they could control. And they looked to do the things they controlled better, even just 1% better.

They believed the key to success was in doing 100 things 1% better, rather than 1 thing 100% better. He described their belief in “critical non-essentials” and gave the example of getting the team to change into fresh kit at half time.

The players didn’t like the idea, but they tried it against the French at the Stade de France. When they appeared in fresh kit for the second half it gave them a psychological advantage. They looked fresh, they looked bigger and they looked ready for action.

Did changing their kit win the match?

No, but it helped and so did 100 other “critical non-essentials”.

What are the “critical non-essentials” in your business? What are the 100 things you could do 1% better?

A little more warmth in your smile, a quicker response to an enquiry, really listening to what your customer wants, a greater sense of purpose, a better cup of coffee, a can do attitude, taking an extra minute to give an explanation, offering some helpful hints and tips, turning up on time…the list can go on and on.

None of these is a silver bullet, but they add up to something even more powerful. Something that tips the balance, turning more people into customers.

Your customers may not even know why they chose you. You weren’t the cheapest, but you made them feel good about the “little things” and that gave them the confidence to trust you to deliver what you promised.

Searching for a silver bullet is tiring and often fruitless. Doing critical non-essentials 1% better is energising and gives you fast results. Give it a go.

And let me know how you get on by leaving your comments below.

Image: M+MD via flickr Creative Commons

Steven hasn’t found many silver bullets, but he can help you to grow your business so you can earn the rewards you deserveClick here to watch 4 Free videos and see how you can grow your sales and profits fast.

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