The Twist that will make your business

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Let’s say you are running your business and you worked hard to get where you are today. You’ve established yourself; you know your competitors, your clients and your position within your market. However, you are struggling to grow. You’re doing everything the big and the small guys in your market do, but you just don’t get the results you’re hoping for and you’re starting to wonder if you should even bother to grow and just accept the fact that you are where you are and you should be glad to have made it that far.

This is the typical box trap most business owners fall into, especially when they’ve been in business for a while. It’s because they’ve concentrated so much on their own market and the players inside that they don’t see what others are doing. In such a case I take my clients through what I call a ‘Twist Session’ – a process developed by Julie Cottineau. Julie is a branding specialist with experience in many global organizations including Richard Branson’s Virgin Management.

Revisit, regroup and re-energize

Since I followed Julie’s ideas and applied them to my own and my clients’ businesses, we managed major positive changes and many of my clients have moved their business to amazing levels. The main idea behind it is about identifying your core services and products and applying new ways to offer them to your clients. Giving them a twist that makes you stand out from the crowd and create new interest from potential customers. We are not talking about a special promotion or a discount here, but something far deeper then that, something with a Twist.

To make this Twist happen for yourself you need to step back and widen your view. Look at the brands, organizations or companies outside of your market. I am amazed by the likes of Apple, Levis and McDonalds, for example. I might not like their products or services specifically, but they are very big and successful brands. I am also stunned by my little corner store: they’ve become like family and an amazing source of information about the area I live in (no gossiping here).

Stand out from the crowd

The next step would be to figure out what it is that makes them so successful. What stands out for you? What are the first things that come to your mind when you think about them? My corner store is family-oriented with personalized services and a source of information.

When I think about McDonalds, I think about fast food, Happy Meals, child-friendly, family focused, children’s playgrounds, birthday parties and more. With Apple I think about amazing and stunning looking products, prestige, excitement and design – all of which comes at a cost.

And with Levis I think about cowboys, leisure, great fit, cool (sorry, it’s my age!) and right for every occasion.

Now apply these points to your own products and services. What could they be? Of course it depends on your market, but with a little imagination you can almost apply all of those points to any product or service, giving it a little twist and let them stand-out from the rest in your market.

Mix things up and have fun!

In the end it boils down to having fun with your business. To play a bit and discover new opportunities. For that to happen, all you need to do is open up and look at everything around you. This is what your customers do. For you, your products or service are centre-point to your business and very important, but for your customer they are just one point of many. Mixing things up creates new interest, establishes your brand as unique and exciting and brings you new customers on the way. All that with a little twist.

But most of all, it also creates a twist in your mind – making you see all the great opportunities ahead and having the fun of your life.

In the end, that’s what it’s all about.

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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