Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change

Sharvani Sachidanand

These  immortal words of Sun Tzu, author of the treatise -‘Art of War’ makes for some deep introspection for all those in the business of war as it does for those in war for business. Sun Tzu is read and regarded the world over 3000 years after his time because his strategies were potent in their simplicity. When I recollect my decade-long corporate experience in marketing, I realize that most success stories that I have seen and been a part of, have adopted this fundamental approach of looking at things--differently.

Let’s look at a few basics in marketing:

Time: Most small business people are totally involved in their daily tasks of running their companies.  While this level of personal involvement is what has made their businesses successful, it’s probably the right time to look at delegation. By delegating routine jobs to other team members/employees they can free up their time for strategic planning. They seldom realize this basic fact themselves. It takes an outsider to point it out.  With an outside perspective they might begin doing business differently and more profitably.

Customers:  Are you listening to what your customers are saying? The customer is always right – even when she is silent or wrong. You need to be concerned either ways. Listen and look carefully- she is saying a lot about your product or service without being direct.

Product: It is interesting that many of the famous inventions were discovered by accident. A few of them by a horrible mistake and others by sheer chance.  Coke, sweetners, colour Mauve and plastic are examples..  But there was always someone who looked at this ‘mistake’ and said – “Hey can I make a buck or two out of it?” This person thought differently. The healthcare sector is rife with these examples. Look at your products and services differently, think out of the box, see what you can change to make them more attractive.

Presentation: Consider this. Even when you go grocery shopping will you not stop and pick up a product attractively displayed vis-a-vis a product in the same category stacked unattractively?  This is true for your company too. Presenting yourself and your products and services well can make a world of difference to how you are sized up in the market.

Often creativity is simplicity. All it takes is a relook at market trends and how you are doing there.

Begin with routine activities.

Ask incredulous questions – the best solutions might lie there!

Published in Dare Edition Dec, 2010