Joyce was one of my “reinvent your business” clients who likes to take things to the edge, fall off the edge, and either soar or splat.
We were discussing all the different aspects of her business model that she could reinvent: her target audience, her product/service offerings, her delivery model, her marketing model, etc.
We kept focusing our thoughts on “What does the client want?”
Hey, it’s a great question — but it was limiting the discussion.
So I asked Joyce, “What could you do that would make your clients really, really angry?” She is a business consultant to medium-sized businesses, and they have certain expectations of her even if she is a solo entrepreneur.
Asking this odd question can generate great ideas. Here are some of Joyce’s answers about what would make her clients truly angry:
- Double our prices
- Reduce our quality
- Take a longer time to deliver our services
- Take a week to answer emails and phone calls
- Show up at their office in a clown suit (or with clown-like answers)
By asking this question, Joyce was able to see which pieces of her business model were most important to her customers — and which were not:
- Nowhere did she mention how she delivered her products and services. In the past, she had always delivered her services one-on-one with the clietn in the client’s office.
- Nowhere did she mention who delivered her products and services. Joyce had always delivered her services herself. Now she realized that she could hire subcontractors to deliver some of the services, which would allow her to leverage her time and expand her business.
These were two great starting places to consider redesigning in her business model.
Bingo! Asking this outrageous question opened her eyes to places where she could transform her business.
Question For You: If you were to ask yourself this outrageous question, what answers would come up for you? Share your comments here!