The power of transference…
It may sound like something from Star Trek, but Transference is nothing to do with Teleportation! Instead it’s one of the most effective ways of improving your business, and all you need is to keep your eyes open.
What is ‘transference’?
It’s a really simple concept!
We can all watch what our competition are doing in our market place, and adjust our behaviours, campaigns and service offering to take account of their latest moves. What makes a real difference though, is when we watch businesses in other industries, and consider how to apply those findings to our industry, and our business.
It’s easy to disregard service offers, requirements and approaches that we may come across as customers, with the old ‘it couldn’t work for our industry.’
What you need to do is to question your assumption, and ask ‘why not?’
In most cases you’ll find that ‘it’ probably could work in your industry, it just may not be ‘normal’ just yet. There’s probably no reason why it can’t be a given.
In the past, we’ve used transference and benefited from it.
Direct Debits – ‘Accountants don’t use Direct Debit’ was what we thought back in 2012. Ten years on, most accountants use Direct Debit, and we ONLY use Direct Debit. It saves us a HUGE amount of admin, and from there helps us keep costs down and cash flow under control. When we implemented it in our last business though we were wary of upsetting clients. We were careful how we communicated it, but in reality there was little resistance.
Casual wear – We wear branded t-shirts, polo shirts and hoodies when we’re on Zoom calls and at Conventions or conferences. We’re warm, comfortable and obvious. We did this for the first time when we were exhibiting at a convention, and other accountants were in shirts and ties. We looked approachable and were far more comfortable too! Now no-one thinks twice about branded wear, particularly after Covid.
Social Media – Going back to 2007 / 2008 when we had our old business, being on social media wasn’t as common. It wasn’t as ‘expected’ that accountants, naturally slow adopters, were online, so we jumped in!
We gained a few clients from Twitter and LinkedIn, where we were most active, but the key thing we gained was awareness of what and how we help people amongst our target market. We watched what other businesses were doing and applied it to our own.
Our goal at that point was still growth, so it made sense to use social media to prove our credibility and stay ‘front of mind’ to an audience that was far smaller back then, but that was largely made up of innovators, and people who were looking at doing business in a slightly different way. Some of the conversations we had and the people we got to know were really beneficial, and we’re still in touch with many of those people now.
All of that said, the online atmosphere is very different these days, as are our goals, so our approach is very different too!
All are quite small examples, but by looking at what others were doing, we ‘borrowed’ ideas, applied them to our business and benefited.
Bigger examples include Innocent Smoothies looking at how Richard Branson promoted Virgin during its early days. He had no money for Marketing, so would do ‘stunts’ for publicity instead. They were comparatively cheap but amazingly effective at bringing media coverage. Innocent deployed the same approach, for the exact same reasons, and have continued to take a similar approach, gathering a wide social media allowing from their entertaining posts.
Transference needs you to keep your eyes and your mind open.
Watch for examples of great service, innovative marketing or super-slick admin, and then give some thought to how you could deploy a similar approach.
If you see something you like, but that’s not relevant now, keep a note, and come back to it later. As your business develops, you may find that you can incorporate an approach that will be differentiate you to others.
And that can be priceless…
If you have some examples of transference, either in your own business or that you’ve seen others deploy, we’d love to hear about them!