Monday, 25 January 2016

Shipping container pools

I have seen some bizarre uses for shipping containers but didn't think of this one...
All for now,
+Brad Skelton 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The bottleneck is always at the top of the bottle

If you are a leader of your business how self-aware are you of how you impact others and are performing?


I have seen many business leaders, myself included, quite by accident become out of touch with their clients and staff although they do not mean to be.


The fact is the larger your company becomes you end up dealing with different sets of issues and have department heads reporting to you. There simply is not enough time and bandwidth to get into the nitty gritty of most issues so you gradually end up less exposed and your historical reference points change. You don't even realise it is happening. Your own self-assessment becomes skewed and you are not leading the best way you can.


One way I have fund effective to minimise this happening to me is by using daily huddles. At Depth Industries we roll at 8.38am with the whole team for about 5 minutes every single day. For team members outside of the office when the huddle is on we use Google Hangouts so we can all be in. This way I am connecting with all team members even briefly and get a good barometer for the business and our teamwork.


We also do a client and sales focused huddle every morning at 9.05am so all team members can be aware of our service objectives or any issues arising we can hopefully swiftly deal with.


The other crucial thing is to create an atmosphere where you stay approachable and conflict amongst yourself and team is welcomed. Now I don't mean you go around picking fights and deliberately causing drama. What I mean is that everyone has no fear or hesitation to call each other out on their performance and where necessary, engage in "productive" conflict and robust debates on issues that gain a better outcome for the business. 


Keep it really real and the client and therefore the company will be the winner.


The bottleneck will always be at the top of the bottle but things will flow more easily.


All for now
+Brad Skelton 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Competing in a crowded market?

Competing in a crowded market isn't all bad. A crowded market shows that demand for your product or service exists and it is a viable market to be in.



So how do you not only compete but lead?

Differentiation is the key. What is greatest form of differentiation? Simple... BE THE BEST! Be so good the market can't ignore you.

Relentlessly generate fresh ideas and urgently pursue excellence in every aspect of your business. I tell my team "We get the clients we deserve". Like attracts like so if we want the best clients we have to be the best to compete.

How do you know when you are in the lead?

Having the biggest revenue, profit or market share doesn't always denote industry leadership. As companies get bigger they usually get worse.

One way you know you are leading is when competitors start copying you. I have had competitors blatantly duplicate our service offering, use unique titles we developed for roles of our team and rip off wording from our website and brochures. Our buy lines...slightly adapted... appear in their promotional material.

While on one level it frustrates my exec team and I, on another we smile as that is when we know we are leading. When competitors start reacting to us and less to their clients needs in an attempt to stay relevant and say to the market "Us too!" we know we are winning. 

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but imagine the competitive benefits to clients if they developed some original ideas and instead of playing catch up, actually took their business and industry to the next level.

In one instance, company "F", has even used my name personally, my company's name and our buy line in the meta tags and URL's of pages in their website in an effort to attract internet traffic away from us. I guess desperate people do desperate things and I was pleased our lawyers swiftly dealt with that one.

Companies exist to do one thing. Serve their clients. Be the best and your market will not seem that crowded at all.

All for now,
+Brad Skelton