Welcome to the April edition of our Centred business newsletter.
The Easter Bunny came early for us at Centred and delivered two humongous eggs, for which we are extremely grateful.
Our first egg is the launch of our new website www.centred.co.za. Word on the digital street is that you should redo your website every 3 years if you want to stay relevant. It’s been long overdue for us and we are proud of the new look and features. A big shout out goes to Casson Media (www.casson.co.za) for the amazing work they have done. The aim was to make our site more interactive and to focus more clearly on exactly how we can help people and ultimately companies succeed. Please check it out and let me know your experience.
The second egg that landed in our basket came from Redefine Properties. They have an Innovation Challenge (https://www.innovationchallenge.co.za) whereby 15 finalists are chosen to pitch their ideas. I have been chosen to mentor one of the finalists and have been working with Mary-Ann Mandishona on her amazing idea. Due to confidentiality clauses, I cannot divulge anything now. Watch out for next month’s newsletter, after the winners have been announced, for all the details.
As mentioned in the previous newsletter, I am off to Brussels on Wednesday the 10th to attend the LMI World Convention where one of my clients, The Keegor Group, has been nominated as a finalist for World Client Of The Year. Be sure not to miss our next newsletter where we will share the outcome!
Wishing you a blessed Easter, be safe and may April deliver you many great surprises,
Founder & CEO: Centred
Authorised LMI Licensee
A Promise is a Promise, Right?
I was driving home one Friday afternoon after work and noticed our local reaction company’s vehicle standing at the front entrance of a school. At first glance, it seems usual, where they would park to make themselves visible. As I got closer, I saw what the real problem was. The vehicle was incapable of going anywhere as one of the front wheels where visibly misaligned. This must have just happened I thought, as nobody was around the vehicle and I assumed that they went to fetch a towing vehicle.
I drove past the same school several times during the weekend with the vehicle still stationary exactly as I had seen it on Friday, with nobody in sight. ‘Not great for business’, I thought. I then relayed to my girlfriend while driving past the stationary vehicle again on Sunday that if I was the owner of the company I would never have allowed one of my security vehicles to stand next to the road. I even thought that maybe the owner of the company does not know, because if he did, I cannot imagine he would not do something about the broken down vehicle immediately.
I get that there is a possibility that it would take a while to fix the front axle or drive shaft, assuming that was the problem. But when a vehicle stands next to the road, obviously broken down for everyone who drives past to see, it must seem that whoever is responsible for the vehicle does not care. And that cannot be good for any brand.
Too many companies forget that the world is driven by perception and your brand is an important component of how people perceive your company. Leaving a broken vehicle next to the side of the road speaks volumes about the care the company takes to look after its customers as well, or not.
Your brand is not just about great customer service. It is about the whole experience, of how your clients see you behave. Companies, or rather the people in a company that ultimately represent a brand should behave in every aspect as if a customer is watching. That broken vehicle is there to service customers, but only when it is not broken. When it drives around the neighbourhood, it gives customers the sense that they are safe and looked after. On the other hand, when the vehicle is broken down for all to see (for a few days in a row), current and prospective customers don’t get a feeling of security and of being looked after. It generates the opposite, heavy feeling of being abandoned and left in the lurch. Just like the broken vehicle at the school’s entrance.
When running your business, make sure your team understand your company’s brand promise and what the non-negotiables are. For a security company, that should be: a broken down vehicle.
The trick, however, is to get the employee to live the brand like an owner. Like I mentioned, I am not sure if the owner knew about the broken vehicle. But let’s assume, he or she did not know about it. Then the question is, How can employees behave like business owners? How can employees own the brand and what it stands for?
That ladies and gentlemen is an article (or book) on its own. Next month I will share more about this.
SUGGESTED EXTERNAL ARTICLE:
Struggling With Your Business? These Entrepreneurs Have Advice for You
There are a bunch of articles on the subject of entrepreneurship. This is the best one if have read in a while and particularly enjoyed the last bit of advice, engage in productive conflict
Read the full article here.
TED Talk | 8 Lessons on Building A Company People Enjoy Working For | Patty McCord
Most companies operate on a set of policies: mandated vacation days, travel guidelines, standard work hours, annual goals. But what happens when a company seeks less to control and more to trust? Patty McCord, the iconic former chief talent officer at Netflix, shares the key insights that led her to toss the handbook out the window.
Marnus’s book on Entrepreneurship is easy and simple to understand. There is no rocket science to being an entrepreneur. It’s all about discipline and sticking to these simple rules. Read this book, one rule a day for 90 days, to remind yourself what it takes to make it as a successful entrepreneur. Anybody can be an entrepreneur. But only a few are successful. Like Marnus.
Click here to listen to my interview: