#12 Increase your Business IQ
One way to build your bankruptcy business is to “increase your business IQ”.
Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell in an interview about his new book “David and Goliath” tells how those that want to improve themselves should hang out with those that are a little bit better in that activity. For example, if you are a runner and average 12 minute miles and want to improve your time, you run with people that run 11 minute miles and they make you better as they push you more.
This makes sense, if I hang out with the 12 minute milers and 13 minute milers, then I will stay the same and tend to slow down. So if we want improve in our business, we learn from those that are doing it well. We learn about business from those that are in business and it does not have to be other lawyers. Some of the best business people in the world are not lawyers. The are barbers, butchers, bakers and fitness gym operators. My job is to expose you to different people and different lines of work to learn how their businesses operate and then gain a nugget or two to use in your bankruptcy business.
One of the precepts of the “Build your Bankruptcy Business” system: There is much to learn from those who are in business and it does not matter which business they are in. We can learn from anyone, if we listen.
If we hang out all the time with lawyers, we tend to do things they way lawyers do thing. The practices and procedures lawyers use may not be the only way to do things. The way another profession accomplishes a task, may be a better and unique way to do it.
So by exposing ourselves to different ways of thinking, we expand our business IQ and can then pick and choose better ways to do things.
Another precept: Seek out those who you can learn from and ask.
Last week I had lunch with my friend Brian De Mint, the owner and operator of Perfect Tan, in Temecula,California. Brian runs a successful tanning salon business which has been growing and competing against large chain style tanning operations.
Spoiler Alert! I do not know anything about tanning or the process, but I do know Brian and I figured I could learn a thing or two from him. Brian is a young married guy and he and his with Alyssa are expecting their first child next month. When I asked Brian about his business, his eyes lit up and he told me all about it.
What struck me first was the way he referred to his customer. He referred to the customer as “she”. He referred to his customer as a female. I had heard of this once before in studying the giant consumer manufacturer Proctor & Gamble. When they say who buys the product, they also refer to the client as a female. This is a small point but an important point as Brain and Proctor & Gamble know their customers well and can segment the market to deal with that customer’s wants and needs.
Perfect Tan does not cater to everyone, because everyone does not want a tan. Brian knows his customer and it is usually a female. Brian said that what he and his staff wanted to do for his customer is to provide a great experience for her so that she will become a “walking billboard” for Perfect Tan. That she was treated so well and she had great results that she would tell her friends or people she saw at the Mall where she go the great tan.
I like the concept of “walking billboard”. These are the best customers because they tell other people about the service and they can explain the service better than anyone else because they are a customer and have experienced the product first hand.
In the tanning business, the tan is visible and can be seen by other people. The tan itself is the “walking billboard” because other can see it. In the bankruptcy business, we do not have something as visible as a tan, but the concept of our customers as “walking billboards” is a good one. The level of service should be such that when people ask about the service our clients received, they broadcast the good service and feelings we have given to the clients. I do not want to push the analogy too far, but it does make a good mental picture of our bankruptcy clients as “walking billboards”.