Pinnacleceo's Take

Experiences put to paper…

Four Ways to Avoiding A Business Blindspot

At any given moment, while behind the wheel of your vehicle, you can encounter an event that leaves you with the feeling of complete helplessness.  It is the moment when someone enters the void where you simply can’t see them in your path and unless drastic measures are taken, something could go very wrong.  It is your blind spot.

I try to be a safe driver… seriously I do, but the other day, I was driving back from a meeting on what seemed a fairly empty three lane highway in the town where I live.  I am in the middle lane and I need to move over into the right lane to get on the loop and head to my office. I checked my mirror, no one behind me. I assumed (more about this later), all was clear.  I put on my blinker and proceeded to venture into the right lane when…

BEEP! Out of nowhere a motorcycle begins to swerve into the other lane.  Obviously he was in the lane I was moving into and I never saw it coming.  The driver of the two-wheeler proceeded to remind me of what I had done with a few hand signs and we both moved on much more shaken up than just a few shorts seconds ago.

How many times while driving or while working, do you say to yourself “I never saw it coming” and how often when this occurs does it seem to happen with just a moment’s notice?

The consequences of a blind spot in our business activity can be devastating as well. So here are a few tips on how to avoid them.

Know your market. It is important to know who you are marketing to, what they want, how they want it and also where they get it. Look for changes in perception and adjust accordingly. Also, it is equally important to know that your market is not just your customers it is your competitors too.  It is a great idea to know what they are up to, too…

Be alert. Look both ways.  I believe we can avoid many unfavorable situations if we are paying attention on purpose and look at every angle possible.  Several years ago I developed a software program that I believed to be a great product for senior citizens. This product was developed in the early stages of the Internet.

At that time, a younger more technically savvy market would have no problem logging on the Internet and downloading the software, but, the senior citizens did not share the same confidence. Our research told us this.

We determined that in order for seniors to feel confident, we would offer the software in a CD format.  While it did the same thing as a download, it felt more safe, it was something tangible to them (which we also learned was important then and still is today), and therefore more attractive to our market.

As I look back on those early years, had we just said we don’t care, the Internet is the only way to go and tried to convince them we were right, I fear we would not have been successful at all.  You see we knew are market and alertly paid attention to their needs and wants.

Take a proactive approach. I know this sounds simple but here is the point, don’t let someone or something sneak up on your blind spot.  Don’t get caught off guard. Always take the approach to perform and promote rather than respond and repair.

A great example of a proactive approach is to let customers know what to expect from doing business with you.  It is always beneficial to lay everything out on the table at the beginning, no surprises, than be forced into damage control unnecessarily later on.

Finally assume nothing. Take nothing for granted.  I knew a business owner years ago who was “the only game in town”. He assumed he had no worries, no competitors across the street so why do anything different.  This worked until what he offered could easily be purchased anytime, anywhere on that little box called a computer and using that little thing I referred to earlier; the Internet.   Never assume anything when it comes to your livelihood…can’t be more clear than that.

There you have it, four helpful tips to avoid your business blind spot. In closing I know there are times that you cannot avoid every unforeseen pitfall, But, if you ever experience one, just once, and you get the feeling of complete helplessness along with thoughts of what things might look like had the disaster actually happened, just like me when I almost hit that motorcyclist, you too will do everything within your power to never be put in that situation again. I know that is a feeling we all agree on avoiding!

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