Unleashing the Huge Power of Small – Building an Amazing Business in Amazing Times
It was great to see so many SME operators play truant from the office Monday morning and head along to our Number Nurses® sponsored, Business buddy business-building event at the Howick Club, and what an event it was. To receive ideas and inspiration from one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, mentors and public speakers was truly special.
Singapore-based Paul Dunn is a four-times TEDx presenter and he shared more than 70 ideas in four hours – simple ideas with big impacts; cost effective to implement and immediately able to apply to business operators ’portfolios of products and services.
Paul spoke of technology, disruption, and the powerful opportunities that technology offers too – especially to connect meaningfully with customers; how important videos are for websites, that you’re 53 times more likely to attract and keep visitors on your site if you feature one.
He highlighted the importance for speed in business (you don’t have to be big; being nimble is good), purpose (and how having a clear one can be game-changing), and choosing to play a bigger game.
For better results, update the questions that you ask yourself. Instead of going for a 10 per cent increase in turnover, why not ask how you’d increase your business ten times?
Paul believes the way business was done changed in 2008, following the GFC. And maybe that was a good thing? Now there’s much more talk of purpose, and new business models such as social enterprise and social impact, as well as the importance of giving back.
And perhaps this is related, but there’s never been a better time to collaborate. Ask: “With whom can I partner or collaborate with” – and the big (and liberating) paradox for the day: “To play a bigger game, you must focus on the small things.”
Paul gave examples of companies he has mentored and have increased their business growth by a couple of hundred percent and more. They were obviously listening when he said to them that “Every one of us is under-charging.”
There was a big focus on pricing to build an amazing business; and the significance of behavioural economics – the way potential customers see things, such as figure totals on quotes. And the Q word was banned, why not call them plans instead and factor in value and delight. Check out what author Bri has to say on www.briwilliams.com.au
Environment dictates performance so make sure yours is creative and inspiring. Quoting Seth Godin, Paul challenged the concept of success; “The challenge is not to be successful, the challenge is to matter more.” And then organically (and ironically) the more we matter, the more successful we will be.
Move your business from the dispensable to the indispensable. “Instead of marketing to the masses, be irresistible to a specific group of people.” Niche marketing? Yes, but you can have multiple niches.
And another friend of Paul’s, Simon Sinek who famously wrote Start with Why says: “Great companies don’t offer something to buy. Great companies offer something to buy into.”
Satisfying your customers isn’t good enough, either. Why wouldn’t you want to “Build beautiful systems that delight, connect and inspire.”
”Building an amazing business is all about connection,” says Paul. “Break everything you do into processes and ask of each, Is this how an inspiring enterprise would do this?” (Check out Flowers Unlimited in London, another of Paul’s delighted clients.)
Sinek again on building a business with purpose: When you know your why, your what has more impact. Differentiation comes from the clarity of why. Your why must be front and centre; and True purpose is always human.
Ever wondered why we’re here? Brene Brown believes, “Connection is why we’re here – it gives meaning and purpose to our lives.”
And Bernadette Jiwa in her book, Meaningful: “The shortcut to more is to matter. Our job then is to build a business that really matters, one that makes a difference to ourselves, to our people, to our clients and to our world.”
Sure, travelling the world presenting and inspiring others is fulfilling for Paul, but it’s the work he does with the revolutionary social enterprise B1G1: Business for Good that he’s been involved with since its inception, that really makes him proud.
A global social enterprise, it stands for Buy one Give one and facilitates 612 projects in 28 countries – such as feeding the hungry, to restoring vision to the blind, with over 17 million global giving impacts already received.
B1G1 is a non-profit organisation with a mission to create a world full of giving, with Paul as chairman. Unlike conventional giving models, B1G1 helps small- and medium-sized businesses achieve more social impact by embedding giving activities into everyday business operations and creating unique giving stories. Every business transaction (and as a result, the business’ day-to-day activity) can impact lives for as little as just one cent.
Here’s something to constantly ask yourself and your team, and perhaps B1G1 Business for Good could provide the answer: “What can you do that costs next to nothing but totally changes the experience for the customer?”
We’ll sign out with Paul’s good friend the Richard Branson: “Let’s you and I explore this next great frontier, where the boundaries between work and higher purpose are merging into one; where doing good really is good for business.”
We hope you’ve gained as much inspiration and a sense of wanting to do even better in our world, as we have from spending time with Paul Dunn.
And lastly, to help in building amazing businesses in amazing times remember – the power of any idea is only ever in its implementation.
Thanks for joining Kirsten and the BUSINESS buddies to unleash your business’s potential.