Having defined who you are as a business, next take the time to think about who you want to become. If you had the ambition and drive to start an enterprise, you probably don’t want to stay as you are. You want to grow (in financial success and mission success) and become more valuable to your audience and customers.
If you were a little discouraged after your exercise in defining who you are, try to let that go. If you did that right, you probably realized you’re not as good as you hoped you were. That’s OK. Entrepreneurs need to develop the habit of facing facts honestly and squarely. It’s fine to say “OK, I’m not doing as well as I wish, but I have a vision of what I want to be and I will work on getting there.”
Create Your Movie
We’ve been using words to describe our value proposition, our ideal customer, our products and services and our unique place in our industry. Words are good. Words are cheap (pixels are almost free!). Words, as good as they are, don’t paint a picture as effectively as sight, sound and emotion. We have video for that.
I stumbled upon this truth years ago when I came across a video created by Corning Glass–the company that likely makes the glass on your mobile phone and tablet. The video is called “A Day Made of Glass”. Go ahead and take five minutes and watch it. I’ll wait.
If you’re like me (and maybe you’re not) the appeal of this video is that you visualize yourself being able to use all the great innovation displayed here and perhaps wishing you could have it now! That’s what you want your potential customers to be able to see and experience.
The Magic of Showing
Whatever you want your business to become, it’s much more effective to show it rather than just talk about it. So, suppose you had the budget (which you may not, more about that later) to create your own video showing what you plan to become, what would it look like?
Suppose you dream of a pharmacy that outdoes everyone in the area of customer experience, technical excellence, never-fail delivery, customer integration or innovation. What would the movie look like? If you could show your customer, or prospective customer, your dream, what would you show? That’s the aspirational vision.
Start with One
It’s easy to get carried away at this point. “I want to be the best at everything!” is a noble ambition, but even the very best companies in the world aren’t the best in every category of their industry. The best ones take the time to learn what’s most important to most of their customers, or potential customers, and focus on one or two of those things.
In talking with prospective customers, you may find that nursing home administrators get stomach cramps when their annual survey comes due and they hope and pray that their pharmacy won’t let them down (again). Or, perhaps the Directors of Nursing feel like every conversation with pharmacy is like going to battle.
The key is to find out what’s important to your market and resolve to become the standout performer in that area. There are wonderful tools available to do that, including automated survey tools, web forms and solicited feedback. We’ll cover these tools in a future article, but also think about just talking with your customers (and future customers) about what one thing they would like to see their pharmacy do better. Just one thing! You may be surprised to find what they think.
Make Your Movie
This doesn’t have to be an actual video (but it’s best if it is). Try making a story board. This is a tool used by movie and video producers to outline a story. There is free storyboard software available along with tutorials on how to use it. We will do a video on how to use one of the products in a future edition. Take a look at Storyboard That, or Cartoon Brew
When you build a storyboard you can help put your dream in a visual format you can transmit to your staff, your advisers, your friends and eventually your customers.
Most important, you will begin to build the video in your mind and you can measure what you’re doing against the video that plays in your head.