Entrepreneurs don’t take failure or setbacks lightly. As the drive and capable individuals you are, you want to nip every problem in the bud and watch your business grow. This is especially true for new entrepreneurs, who feel like they haven’t quite mastered the art of running a business. If revenue isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like, or if you simply want to find ways to grow your already-thriving business, the answer may be simpler than you think. In fact, sometimes a small change makes a much greater impact than a dozen larger changes would have.
Let’s look at a prime example of this in recent Inc. news. Anthony Geisler became the owner of Club Pilates Franchise after managing the 30-location enterprise became too much for previous owner, Allison Beardsley. Upon entering some of the studio locations, Geisler noticed that the walls and equipment were pastel colors like pink, purple, and mint green. In addition, male membership to the club was very low. So he changed the color scheme to include darker colors like blue and black.
“Women didn’t care what colors the balls or mats were, Geisler said, but the male clients he wanted to recruit did.” Soon after the change, male membership at the club roughly tripled.
Sometimes you only need to make the slightest shift to adapt to your desired customer’s needs. Rather than changing lots of things at random, take a step back to identify the precise problem you’re having. Then, get inside the minds of your customers. Here’s what to start thinking about if you want to watch your business grow and blossom over the next 6 months.
1. Identify What You’d Like to Change
Geisler knew immediately upon acquiring the pilates club that male membership was a primary weak spot that needed to change. While the company was already steadily increasing its revenue, men were almost completely missing from the equation. Ask yourself, “What about my business is like that? What seems to be a continuous problem or an area where little progress has been made?”
2. Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Customer
This is something we hear all the time. However, if you feel you’ve been trying without much luck, take a simpler approach. Geisler didn’t do a ton of research or study his clients over a long period of time. He simply assessed the studio’s interior situation at face value and came to a simple and obvious conclusion – men feel more comfortable with masculine colors than feminine colors. The more you have in common with your target demographic, the easier it will be to view your business from their perspective. So if your audience doesn’t match up with you, try asking other people who would relate to your target. For example, an older adult running a business that aims to attract more teenage customers should speak to a teenager for insight. Simple and direct! You may be surprised at the information you receive.
3. Test Out the Change
In Geisler’s case, he simply jumped in and made the change and it paid off big time. But ideally, you’ll have an opportunity to test out the changes you want to try. For example, switching up the packaging or display of a product, or marketing a service you offer in a new light. The more of these changes you test out, the more data you gather. So even if several things don’t work out, you’re still getting closer to an understanding of your customer base and what matters to them.