Don’t you hate it when you build something perfect but people just “don’t get it”?
So often business leaders aim for perfection instead of a minimum viable product. That might work depending on the circumstances, but then they let their ego get in the way of hearing feedback. After all, it is perfect, right!?!
New technologies are especially guilty of this.
Service companies and creatives can also find themselves trapped in this blind spot too.
At Amplify, we are very conscious of this. We have seen too many businesses fail or trip up from it so we are extra diligent about “checking ourselves”.
Let’s look at a case study of how we’ve walked in these shoes and built to scale.
One of the first challenging conflicts Jesse and Jamie had as co-founders was about the website. One of them wanted to spend a few bucks on Fiver, and the other wanted perfection and interviewed multiple local designers that came highly recommended and were a tad expensive for our start-up budget (of which we had $0 to invest).
It was a painful negotiation. There were moments of “What am I doing partnering with this gal/guy?”
It was also the first of many examples where challenging each other paid off for us. We found a perfect compromise and went with 99Designs as recommended by a friend.
We built a functional website that fellow CPAs loved!! It had detail and lots of “how we do it” and “who we are” content.
It resonated with CPAs and that was great because half our revenue is from our CPA network. They hire us for Recruiting & Consulting and they tell their friends, neighbours, clients, and fellow hockey dads about our Finance Leaders.
But, you know what our website didn’t do?
It did not resonate with mid-market or small business leaders. In fact, if you didn’t have a CPA designation you likely couldn’t understand it or you just got bored by it.
That was a hard pill to swallow. We had evidence of this feedback and it quickly became indisputable.
The Business Development and Sales team, along with the Marketing team, (huge team of three people that wear many other hats) invested in Storybrand.
We went to EO’s conference to learn more from Donald Miller.
That same day, the world “blew up” with the NBA cancelling their season while we were in the conference.
COVID pulled our attention away from Storybrand. We became uber focused on helping our clients and community navigate the crisis and government programs, and all of the related finance, accounting and strategy challenges that came with it. It was an impactful and intense time.
Once the dust started to settle (but let’s be empathetic as it actually has not completely settled yet and we still have a journey in front of us as business leaders, parents & community members), we realized our business development and sales budget wasn’t going to be used for events, happy hours or coffees and lunches. We pivoted and focused on a brand refresh that included a new website!
And we learned a lot. For starters, people don’t care about how you do it.
Ouch!! That kind of stung a little, but we are resilient and open to feedback, so we accepted this.
Turns out people especially don’t care how you do it when what you do is finance and accounting!
They also don’t care too much about who we are. Yikes! We are so proud of our epic team and our values, but we learned we need to be seen as the guide and that it wasn’t the right focus to talk about ourselves.
Our client is the hero.
And while we always knew that, we had to make sure it was clear in our messaging.
Anyway, enough about all that — check it out for yourself instead: amplifyadvisors.ca
The service providers that helped us are all local:
Branding, marketing, website design https://fetchingfinn.com
And to learn about Storybrand check out: https://storybrand.com
Or the podcast with Storybrand’s Donald Miller: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/building-a-storybrand-with-donald-miller/id1092751338
Listening to the real response you receive is tough. For us, it wasn’t easy to hear that our website viewers weren’t keen on “how” or “who”.
But to scale your business and grow strategically and profitably it’s important to seek and receive, and then act on the response of the market.
Take the time in your business.
Start with these tips:
- Find the courage to really hear the feedback
- Build the curiosity in asking for this feedback
- Be willing to connect and pivot based on what you hear from others
- Hire a team with the willingness to accept candor
- Prioritize the time to collaborate on a solution that responds to the feedback you heard