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How to take an old-school business to the 21st century?

My answer?

You don’t.

Over the past 15 years I have talked to many business owners who have seen their business grow fast in the 80s, and are still hoping that marketing tactics from the 80s work today. Hence the number of tv ads by car companies (they did amazing in the 80s). But live has changed, there are many more tv channels, and other media like the many different social media sites online.

Billboards in 2017 are completely ignored. The passengers in the car are more likely to check their smart phone then the view outside. So, why not choose to advertise on the smartphone (via different sites, or apps)?

But the biggest difference is that we want to have a relationship with the company we buy from. An Apple product is not just a different product, it shows something about who you are and what you value in life. (And if you don’t buy Apple, you probably don’t value those things).

There are many businesses stuck in the 80s, and I have been on the sidelines of many of such businesses, trying to help them get to the 21st century. But it’s been a pain. You need a mindset change. It’s not just pushing your ad out on your Facebook page that makes people want to buy your car. And the same goes for dry cleaners, gardening companies, moving companies, and housecleaning companies. There is enough work in those industries, but most of those companies don’t stand out.

It becomes a commodity challenge, and people negotiate on price. Whereas each of those industries have ample opportunities to stand out, and be the brand people talk about. And that’s exactly what’s missing. The brand, the relationship the company cultivates with its customers.

I see ample opportunity for companies in each of these niches to build a brand and do it differently. It’s unfortunately not nearly as easy in the car industry, but Tesla is definitely proving that you can serve your customers in a different way. Serve the customers where they are (in the mall) instead of where you are.

How can you serve your customers where they are? If you are a gardening company, how can you make it easier for your customers? How can you make a difference compared to your competition? If you are a dry cleaner, are you waiting for your customers to come to you? How can you make it easier for your customers to do business with you?

These, and more questions, were for me the starting point in launching my pet project Laundrylicious, last year. The Uber of Laundry. Outsourcing laundry can be such a huge win for families (and individuals). We cut the laundry time down from 6 hours a week to 60 seconds. And people have noticed. There are big wins to make in many industries that will came a person’s life easier, and wouldn’t that be what business should be about? How can we serve our customer best. Empathy is the skill to use, execution is the thing to do.

What can you do to serve your customers better? Let me know and I’d love to help execute your vision!

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

31 Responses to “How to take an old-school business to the 21st century?”

  1. baldwin says:

    This was nice to read and i loved it.thanks
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  2. Sinclair Stewart says:

    The old school business are related to those which are following the previous concept of the business and they are not trying to develop that thing according to the modern era and some of the advertisement and marketing channels have also been increased so they should try to focus them on that thing as well and you can also consult https://www.ingic.sg/digital-marketing/ for latest marketing strategies and tactics.

  3. You are right about advertising on the phone but it’s only useful when advertising on Facebook
    Because apart from gaming we spend most of our time with fb, I do not see anyone using the phone for information
    Anyway, thank for great article

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  5. T I Antor says:

    Hey, Marieke,
    Excellent concept and a great way to execute. I wat o say this, just look at Amazon, eBay, and other top marketing company. How they do their business. Are they following old school business or goes with the time of modern era? Thaks a lot for sharing a useful post.

  6. jisha says:

    Great concern and really imperative one thanks for sharing such a nice article

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