Your Future May Very Well Depend on Where You Fall on the Bell Curve

Your Future May Very Well Depend on Where You Fall on the Bell Curve

By Thad Whittenburg

The Law of Diffusion of Innovation

This was first introduced to me during a Simon Sinek Ted Talk. (Start with the Why) If you haven’t seen it before, I would highly recommend that you check it out. Here’s the link:

The Law Diffusion of Innovation basically states that all people and businesses fall into certain groups on the bell curve.

The first group is called the Innovators which make up about 2 ½% of the population or companies. They aggressively look for new products, technology, and sales and marketing strategies that will advance them ahead of their competition. They are the first ones through the wall.

The second group is known as the Early Adopters and make up the next 13 ½%. Early Adopters typically follow on the heels of the innovators. This group is also very forward thinking and as soon as they recognize new tools that have been introduced to the industry, they make a commitment to utilize them even though they may not be well known yet.

The third group is known as the Early Majority and are the next 34%. Once they see that these new innovations have driven success, they jump on board. This is considered the tipping point (15-18%) where something new has started to gain a strong foothold in the industry.

The final 2 groups are the Late Majority (34%) and the Laggards (16%). These groups are typically the last ones to embrace change. The Laggards will most likely go kicking and screaming and typically are forced into any change that they may make because it’s out of their comfort zone. If you ever hear someone say, “we’ve always done it this way” Run!

Technology is changing at such a rapid pace that If you fall into one of the first 3 groups, there’s a very good chance that your business is going to thrive and you will continue to take market share.

If you land in the other 50%, you will spend your time reacting to changes instead of being proactive. This catch-up mode will not bode well for your business as things continue to progress.

Here are 10 things that you should start incorporating into your business sooner rather than later

  1. Virtual and Augmented Reality Presentations for your customers using smart phones, iPads, Goggles, etc.
  2. Software that will help you run your business more seamlessly that is fully integrated from start to finish (CRM to quoting and ordering to job management to reporting and customer after care)
  3. Start working towards becoming a hybrid business which cannot only sell out of the showroom but also projects online.
  4. Create a website that takes the customer engagement to a new level, not just info about your company, but having the ability to develop relationships with them even before they even have a personal interaction with someone.
  5. Build an expense model that allows you to be more competitive as margin compression continues to take place in our industry.
  6. Review outsourcing opportunities to make your business more efficient and cost effective such as design services and delivery
  7. Build a culture that will attract and retain the best talent in your market. This can be accomplished by using leadership over management, strong employee relationships, team focused and customer centric. This always starts and stops with leadership. End of story.
  8. Start a process map of your customer’s experience so that you can define the areas where the customers are wowed by your service and what areas need improvement
  9. Businesses need to have a standardized process improvement methodology. It’s very difficult to improve and implement new processes without a system in place to do so. (for those of you that haven’t read previous blogs, I recommend Manage to Lead by Peter DiGiammarino of intelliVen, which is a proven technique and one I’ve been involved with personally.
  10. Jobsite Measuring Technology (we are currently testing the Canvas product and will report out on the results)

I know this is a long list to try and incorporate into your business so I would advise focusing on 1 or 2 at a time until they are complete. Taking on any more initiatives will only result in the law of diminishing returns. If you haven’t checked out Franklin Covey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX), it’s a great way to understand how to move new things forward in your business.

Thanks for sticking with me. I realize I’ve brought many of these items up in previous blogs, and the reason is, they are THAT important. As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Please join us this Thursday for our free webinar the Customer Service Revolution:

We’d love to see you in September for our 2- day workshop on Building Your Kitchen and Bath Business for the Future. This will include such things as process mapping the customer experience on the website as well as in the showroom, reviewing new technologies and how to incorporate virtual reality presentations into your business.

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