Sun Tzu was an ancient general in China who was very successful in battle and he wrote a book called “The Art of War.” Now, you CEOs may look at your competitors as shadowy figures that are stealing the food away from your kids’ mouths, or you might look at them as friendly competitors who are joining you in the potato-sack game of life. Either way, it’s important to look at lessons that you can learn from people who’ve been successful, like Sun Tzu, and see how you can apply them in your business.
One thing that he said is, “So it is said, if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be put at risk even in a hundred battles. If you only know yourself but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. And if you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.” Now that might have been a little more eloquent in ancient Chinese, but the idea is that you need to know your own strengths and weaknesses as well as your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses in order to have the most successful outcome in business, or in battle, as is the case. In order to know that, it’s important to look at user-generated content, whether that’s customer reviews, social media, or customer feedback. Take that information to learn what your customers say are your organization’s strengths and weaknesses and make those things better.
How many of you are monitoring your competitors’ reviews online, for example? If you aren’t doing that, please invest in review online monitoring software that can do that. If you only know your strengths and weaknesses you might be successful, but if you know what you do well and what your competitors do well, you’re much more likely to vanquish them in the battle of money and business and life. Make sure you monitor that and make sure you invest in software that is telling you what your customers think you’re doing well and not so well, and also your competitors.
Second point. Attract new franchisees. When you have a great reputation and people are looking at you as a potential business that they want to invest in and become a franchisee, if you can show them your average star rating across all those different review sites, people want to buy into a quality organization and that’s one way that you could reassure them that the work you do, and the brand that you’ve built and the reputation you have is one of the highest marks – and that’s something they’re going to want to buy into. It’s also something that you can hold them to that standard and say, “Hey, we expect the same of you after you join the organization.” It’s a great way to attract people but also maintain the quality of standards that you expect all your franchisees to uphold.
Then the last item is, get the best team. The best organizations are composed of the best teams. To get that, we feel like having a reputation on Indeed and Glassdoor (if you have great reputations on those sites), that can help attract people who are looking at your organization as a potential place they would like to work for. Also, when people are looking at you online and they’re doing searches, they can see that you have a great reputation on Facebook, Yelp, and Google, but also Indeed and Glassdoor: it shows them that you treat people well who are your customers and that people who are inside your organization also have great things to say about you. That attracts people both from a customer point of view but also from a potential employment point of view as well. That can really help you get a better reputation and improve your organization.I’m Matt Jones with Web Punch and we’ll see you, next class.