Entrepreneurs often spend so much time in their businesses they fail to look closely at their business. Market leaders understand the value of analyzing their customer and sales pipeline to find diamonds in the rough.
I heard a story about a farmer in Africa who farmed land that was in his family for generations. One day he decided he wanted to sell his farm and move to city and make his fortune. The new land owner was out exploring his new property and his son found a beautiful shinny rock in the riverbed. His son brought the rock home and displayed it with pride on the fireplace mantle. As the story goes a friend came to visit and saw the “rock” on the mantel and asked the new owner if he was aware of what they had? If the story is true it was one of the largest uncut diamonds ever found.
All those years, for generations the family members walked by that same stream and did not see nor appreciate the shiny rocks in the stream. Eventually they sold their farm and went in a new direction unfamiliar to them to “make their fortune.
I see the same story with Entrepreneurs, and leaders in both large and small companies. They are so busy chopping the trees; they fail to see trends in the forest of sales data. When you look at your sales data;
Segment sales into groups and rank them
Compare and contrast sales and profits to prior
Review new sales over the past six months, do they have any common elements…
Map trends that emerge objectively
Far too often entrepreneurs have diamonds in the rough they can only identify once they take the time to analyze and trend map their data.
A quick example; It is a difficult time for most restaurants. I have heard sales decreases as high as 70%. However, I frequently buy lunch at Boston Market. I often see the same people each day and they are all, like me eating the same thing; a meat protein and two servings of vegetables. One guy has lost over 100lbs on their tortilla soup.
I was joking with the employees today as they know me by name. They asked how much weight I have lost, and what was my secret. I shared that I joined the Medifast program, a light workout each day, and I eat one healthy meal per day. Boston Market offers food choices for consumers like me.
If the leaders at Boston Market would survey customers, group the data, they would find a revenue diamond in the rough.( and they may have) Once they identify that diamond, they need to share that they have it with others who are trying to loose weight by eating healthy. Their lunches are slightly more expensive than other lunch choices; however their meals are perfect solutions for dieters who need to eat 6-7 ounces of protein and two cups of green vegetables carbs.
Once they verify this trend, Boston Market may even choose to partner with weight loss programs like Medifast, local fitness centers and so on.They may provide other food choices to serve this customer segment and help them share the benefits of eating at Boston Market with other’s in their community dieting. If the segment is verified be large enough they may even adjust their media buys to include shows like the Biggest Loser.
How about your company…
Do you have any diamonds waiting to be found in your data?
Has one of your competitors ever discovered a trend and launched positioning for an existing product that made you scratch your head thinking…why didn’t we come up with that?
Are you taking the time to see the big picture? Or are you too busy chopping down trees?
What other trend can you track to find your diamonds when sales get rough?
Market leaders understand the value in looking at the big picture and identifying trends.