Some people call it thinking outside the box, while some call it professional creativity. Ingenuity in the business world can be the difference between being in business and being successful in business. The question has been and always will be, how do I set my business apart from the rest?
Amazon.com did it when it decided that it could sell books over the Internet without a brick and mortar store. At the time, it was unheard of. Now Amazon is a household name and sells just about anything you can think of. But it doesn’t take something as dramatic as being the first on-line bookstore to set yourself apart. Take a local tree trimming/lawn service business here in Maine, Lucas Tree Experts. I see their trucks everywhere 3 seasons out of the year, but I’m sure winter in Maine was pretty slow for them. But someone found their business ingenuity and realized that their particular services lent themselves quite well into installing Christmas lighting and decor. They have cherry pickers, etc. to make the job easy. When you think about it, it just makes sense doesn’t it? Instead of saying, “It’s the slow season.” Someone said, “What can we do or add to keep us busy year round.”
Both of these examples of business ingenuity are pretty big ideas, but small touches work too. How about the hotel that leaves a mint on your pillow? Makes you feel special doesn’t it? Or maybe it’s as small as the fax cover sheet you get from a certain company having a graphic that changes according to the month. For example, it may say happy holidays in December, have a snowman in January, cupid in February…you get the picture. In the course of your hohum workday, isn’t it nice to see a cheery little item. And it serves to make the faxes from that company stand out from the rest.
It doesn’t have to be a grand idea on a grand scale. It just needs to be a little something special that sets your company apart from the rest. So go ahead, exercise your business ingenuity.