A few weeks ago I went to see Richard Reed give a talk at the London Metropolitan University where he kindly shared some of his experience with us in the form of five lessons. Lessons one and two were posted a couple weeks ago, and the rest are here.
Lesson 3: It’s all about the people
If after a while you find that someone is just not pulling their weight after you’ve given them opportunity after opportunity to shape up – then you’ve got to let them go. What if you can’t find someone to replace them? “I’d rather have a hole than an assh*le” is the quote that Reed shared to illustrate his point.
Lesson 4: Focus on the small details
Details can make a huge difference. Give people a reason to buy from you rather than the next guy. Doing a thousand little things means it’s harder for competitors to figure out what exactly it is that you’re doing right and harder for them to copy you, than it would be if you worked on having one giant unique feature. For example: rather than labelling their smoothies with a Best Before date, the folk at Innocent chose to use an Enjoy By date. Sometimes they would throw in some ridiculous items into the list of ingredients on the label. Food labelling is taken very seriously in the UK and they eventually got a letter from the authorities telling them to either add two plump nuns to their smoothies or remove all mention of plump nuns from the ingredients list.
Personally, I LOVE the fact that their packages contain messages hidden within the nooks and crannies of their bottles or cartons.
Lesson 5: Listening is free, and it creates value
I’m afraid I can’t remember any stories told during this segment of the talk as I was dying for the loo and also distracted by the trolleys of food being wheeled in (I know you feel me). So I shall end this post by telling you that when I was only a wee girl I used to say “the reason we’ve got 2 ears and one mouth is because we’re supposed to listen twice as much as we talk”. As a know-it-all adult, I find this easier said than done…