If you’ve been around me a while, you probably know that I advocate running your business as if it’s in crisis because one day it will be. It’s been wise counsel that’s been adopted by many of members over the years.
In some cases, the advice has been worth millions and millions of dollars.
When everyone wants to celebrate about their success, and I love to celebrate as much as the next person, I say “what’s next?”.
McDonalds founder Ray Kroc said it eloquently when he said, “We invent faster than they can copy.” Throw the internet into this equation where everything is there for everyone, including your competitors, to see and it’s never been truer that it’s “reinvention or oblivion”!
At my recent Business School on the Gold Coast in front of 170 members, I used an example of an industry I believed was facing disaster if they didn’t reinvent. I sort of said it tongue in cheek and with a little bit of sarcasm.
Well, within a week it came true BIG TIME!
The comment I made at Business School was in relation to the private practice hearing aid industry where they historically sell hearing aids for 1000s of dollars. The comment I made and I quote, “It won’t be long before you see hearing aids sold in Bunnings.”
This of course was me pointing out an obvious threat to their industry and alert my clients that it may very well be happening in theirs.
Well, less than a week later a client who attended Business School and heard me make that comment, sent me an article that appeared in the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald on 16/11/2013 in page 12.
It was an article about Costco and how they see themselves “as a one stop shop, like a shopping mall, but with three and half thousand products”, so says Mr. Noone, Costco’s Australian Managing Director.
He goes on to say, “You can buy a diamond ring (up to $198,000), bottle of Dom Perignon, a couple of steaks and roses and have a hell of a time.” Importantly, the article gave another example in that Costco even “offers hearing aids at about a third of the price of private practice.” (the article reprinted here)
It gets worse for the hearing aid folk who are used to charging 1000s for their hearing aid devices. Back in Perth, on the same weekend I think, a full page ad was run for hearing aids purchased via mail order or online shopping.
This was a first for me, I’ve never seen hearing aids available via emotional direct response marketing before.
Now I’m not suggesting for a moment the quality of this hearing aid which cost $99 + $9.95 (postage and handling), is anywhere near the quality that you’ll get from the private practice hearing aid specialists but it’s still a danger.
Again I’ve reprinted this ad here for your information. It’s my take that the hearing aid guys have got to reinvent themselves, certainly where their marketing is concerned. I would even be thinking about a mobile service if I was these guys taking it in home via appointment.
And heck, may be even party plan, who knows! Either way, the old model is broken.
You see historically the hearing aid guys have taken expensive full page ads asking prospects to come for an appointment or request more information. That’s a flawed economic model, particularly when competition kicks in and prices are on the slide.
The biggest and best advantage for the professional practice guys would be to switch from one shot advertising to 2-step lead generation, where you offer a free report, something like “The Hearing Sufferers Smart Guide to Choosing the Best Hearing Aid Quickly and Easily”
Then may be a subhead like “The 7 big costly mistakes hearing sufferers make when choosing a hearing aid and how to avoid them”
Now all of that would appeal to a larger audience but still appeal to those who are ready to buy now. This would capture folks that are just thinking about getting a hearing aid or talking about it with their spouse.
It’s well-documented, it’s called “the buying cycle of a client” and it’s true where virtually every product or service is concerned. That is there’s more people thinking about the problem than there is people ready to buy the solution to the problem.
To be honest, when I made that sarcastic comment about hearing aids in Bunnings, I had no idea it was going to come true so quickly.
My thinking was merely based on age driven spending and that with the aging population, hearing aids were going to become commoditized. By that I mean, bought on price.
It wasn’t my crystal ball. It was based on statistical facts that allowed me to understand the present so I could predict the future.
That leads me to another point. When it comes to predicting the future in business and in investments in general, I know no one better than the futurist Harry S. Dent who we have coming to Australia in February 2014.
Harry is the guy who, among other things, predicted the Global Financial Crisis about 10 years before it happened.
If you’d like to find out more about securing your future by understanding how money moves and why, then click on this link here http://securethefuture.com.au/ If you’ve already registered for the earlybird notifications list for Harry S. Dent’s tour (and hundreds and hundreds already have), then no need to re-register here.
Understand by registering you are obligated in no way and it costs you nothing.
Quite honestly, it’s by listening to guys like Harry S. Dent that I was able to predict what was about to happen to the hearing aid industry and forewarned is forearmed.
So go ahead, check out http://securethefuture.com.au/ now. It may be the best thing you’ve done in ages for your business or investment life.