I bet you’ve never really asked yourself if you’re stuck in your business model. Have you ever asked why you do something, or have you always just accepted that “That’s the way it is” or “That’s the way my industry/competitors do it so I’ll do the same”?
So many times we see business owners get “stuck” in their business because they get stuck in the daily grind. It’s very easy to do, and I myself have seen myself do it a few times. But in order to run a successful, long term business, it’s important not to get stuck in your business model just because that’s the way things are done.
An SEO Example:
For years search engines have looked at links and anchor text as a way of ranking websites for various keywords. So over the last 10+ years, SEO companies have gone out to build as many links with the same anchor text matching that keyword as possible. In the race to the top, thousands of SEO companies were born and all of them adopted this same strategy to help their clients get to the top.
The problem? In the rat race, none of them thought about changes in the industry, none of them asked why they’re doing what they’re doing, and none of them took the time to diversify to minimize risk. All they cared about was doing more than the next SEO company to stand apart, instead of differentiating based on the quality of their work and the fact that they think outside the box.
When Simple SEO Group started, we took a little bit of a different approach. We charged a little more than the next guy, but we took steps and time to actually think about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and the long term implications. No, we didn’t guess everything right, but one of the main things we did right was diversify our link profile and anchor text profile years ago. This was way before the Google Penguin update which penalized sites whose link profile was “unnatural”.
Why did we do this? Because we didn’t get stuck in the industry business model. We thought outside the box and looked at the long term picture to find different ways to set ourselves apart, and that has made an enormous difference in the success of our business.
A Conversion Optimization Example:
95% of people take their website and try to cram as much information into the website as possible. For years web designers have tried to encourage clients to put more content and more pages on their website, and one of the reasons is because the more pages and more content, the more money the web designer ends up making.
We took this a different route and tried a more simplistic, targeted, and minimalist approach. I don’t want to say we’re the ones who began the “less is more” website movement because there most certainly were much bigger companies than us doing it before us, but we stepped away from the industry standards of getting as much information into a website as possible and tried out the less is more approach.
And with this approach, we along with our clients have seen fantastic conversion results out of our websites.
A Web Design Example:
For years web design firms have charged clients for revisions. If they want to change two words on the homepage, it’s going to cost a few hundred dollars. If they want to change the color or layout of something, it’s going to cost a few hundred dollars. This was, has been, and still is the industry standard and how web designers make money.
With the help of a fantastic content management system (CMS) known as WordPress, we helped break this norm. When we build a website, we give our clients access to the CMS which allows them to make basic changes, add pages, add blog posts, and a wide variety of other website changes.
What does this mean for us as a company? It means less revenue because we can no longer nickel and dime clients for small website changes. But beyond that, it means happier customers because they can save money, make changes easily, and be in control of their website. In the long run, having happier clients who send us tons of referrals ends up generating more revenue for our company than nickel and dimming for small website changes.
This change in how we approach websites is very different from industry standards, yet it actually ends up being more profitable for us and our clients.
The Bottom Line:
These types of small changes can have an enormous impact on a company’s bottom line. When I work with our clients on marketing campaigns, we often come across fantastic ideas that they don’t put into place because they are simply stuck in their business model and stuck in the grind of the industry.
With our help, we often put these ideas into place for businesses and they see fantastic results by differentiating their company from their competitors. So I leave you with this: If you haven’t asked yourself “why do we do this?” for all of your business processes, take some time each day to think about why you really do things and how you can improve every element and process of your business to better serve your clients and set your company apart from the pack.