Steve Jobs and Henry Ford were known for many things. One of which, was their ability to deliver what the marketplace wanted, without waiting to be asked. This post looks at what we can learn from them.
It starts with an understanding, that there’s a direct link between the success of your business, and your willingness to understand and serve, the needs of your marketplace.
Listen and observe
Even though we have social media accounts, which give us the ability to listen like never before, many small business owners choose to use these tools almost exclusively, to market and network, rather than listen and observe. As a result, many find they are offering something, which there is little demand for.
Listen to your marketplace and look for opportunities. It’s unlikely that people will be literally asking for a new type of service, but that’s NOT what you are looking for. You’re looking for a need, which you can profitably service, through rendering exceptional value.
Steve Jobs and Henry Ford
- Steve Jobs didn’t wait until the marketplace started asking for tablet computers, when he reinvented the tablet industry. He knew that people had always liked the idea of tablet devices, but that the old technology wasn’t able to deliver a great experience. He made a judgement call and invested in the development of the first iPad and it was a massive success, which led to a global change in technology.
- Henry Ford did a lot of research, on the affordability and likely interest in his initial Ford motor cars, before building them. He famously said; ‘If I had simply asked people what they wanted, they would have asked me for faster horses!‘
We can feel passionately about the value of bolognese flavoured cheesecake, but if there’s no market interest in that product, we’re wasting our time.
Do the research. Grow bigger ears. Listen and learn. Then, focus on developing something, which people need and do it as well as you possibly can.