The Idea Conversion Formula - written by Rick Segel
Growing Ideas into Business
The 6 “P”s = Profitability
Last week, we introduced the idea of the formula that helps grow businesses. We call it the 6 “P”s = Profitability. With any idea, there is a mindset or attitude that we have that governs our actions. Last week I shared the first five of the 10 Commandments of Ideas. Here is the whole list:
1. Everything starts with a dream.
2. Ideas are personal.
3. It’s not how many ideas you have, it’s how many ideas that you make happen.
4. If time, money or social pressure were not problems, what would you do?
5. Brainstorming, the mother of all ideas. Rules of brainstorming are:
- The wilder the better.
- Weird ideas spark great ideas.
- Wild to wacky to wow!
6. Many great ideas are the simplest and are in plain sight.
7. Great ideas come from ordinary people.
8. Creativity is dependent on one point of view or environment.
9. Ideas are dependent on the cycle of acceptance.
10. For every good idea, there are three people telling you that it won’t work.
Just for review, the 6 “P”s = Profitability Formula are: products, powers, positioning, promotion, procedures, product, and people equal profits. Now, let’s look at each one of these entities.
Look at your idea as a product, look at your store as a product. The reason why you look at your idea as a product is that it adds a level of objectivity and can remove emotional attachments.
Define the product by the type of idea.
Is it a solution to a problem or is it a better way of doing something?
If it’s a solution to a problem:
- It needs to define what the problem is.
- Why the solution?
- Why now?
- What will the end result look like?
If it’s a better way of doing something:
- What is wrong with the current way?
- Is it worth making the change?
- Will the benefits outweigh the cost?
Powers are your strengths; powers are your competitive advantages. You need to determine your:
- What makes you different?
- What ability are you most proud of?
- What expression do you hear the most describing your product?
Positioning is the way you perceive yourself and the way the public perceives you and your business. Here is a positioning test:
- Describe three businesses you relate to.
- Name three businesses you can’t stand and why.
- What are your five most remembered advertisements?
- What is your attitude toward returns, community, and employees?
- How do you define customer service?
- Does technology give you a competitive advantage?
- This is the place to go for the ______ with the best _______.
- _________ is my specialty.
Promotions are how you achieve your marketing goals. Promotions are your advertising choices. Here is a promotional quiz:
- Are you event focused?
- Do you embrace expertise in education as a promotional strategy?
- Do you maintain regular contact with your best customers?
- Do you blog regularly?
- Do you text to your employees?
- Are you active on Facebook?
This is just the tip of the iceberg in promotion, but it’s a start to get you thinking about the possibilities. Now think of all the ways you can promote your business.
Procedures are the way you do business and how you do business. Here is your procedure test:
- Do you have written procedures and protocols for every aspect of your business?
- How often are procedures reviewed and improved?
- Do you have a training schedule?
- Do you invite feedback from the front line?
- Are your manuals and teaching materials easy to understand and in an adult learning style?
- Do your procedures include selling skills?
- Do you employ mystery shoppers?
People determine your success or failure. People need people to show them the way. Here is your people test:
- What are the best words to describe your staff?
- What type of system do you have in place for regular praise?
- How do you handle mistakes or faux pas?
- Are you aware of the 4 stages of learning?
- What methods of communications do you use to determine knowledge?
- Are selling and service skills important and are they rewarded?
- Do you recognize holidays, birthdays or other personal celebrations of your employees?
What we have done here is give you a small taste of a procedure that every retailer needs to use that will help to make you think about your business and your ideas. But remember that profits are not the only score card of success. Profits are the mother’s milk of growth. Let me know what you think.