Everyone wants to be a part of something special, and for entrepreneurs it’s magnified tenfold: we want to create something special for our clients.
But being a highly-valuable business is great in more than just an emotionally and ethically rewarding way. When your company is worth more, you can increase your profit margins, pay/hire higher quality employees, and create expansion that makes life easier for you while creating incredible value for your clients. The great news is, it’s possible for you to raise the worth of your company! Whatever you’re doing, you can raise the value and therefore prices of your company. And by doing this, you can create a recession-proof company.
The Grow Retreat is in its 5th year, and we’ve begun to enjoy all of the perks of having a high-value event. On top of being able to charge more and simply putting on a better event, we’ve created an event that brings people a whole new level of value every single year. Attendees walk into the room and it feels different! The connections they make (with other business owners and speakers alike!) coupled with the incredible information they receive has consistently blown them away (See what people are saying about the Grow Retreat here). People return year after year, regardless of price changes, because we promise to make every following year better and we fulfill on that promise when they can’t imagine what would make it better.
We created a next-level experience with the Grow Retreat; I wanted to share the three keys we’ve used with the Grow Retreat, so that you can do the same thing in your business.
Key #1: Establish the Basics
Yes, you’ll move beyond the basics to create a next level experience. But you can’t create a next-level experience if you can’t even get the basics of your functional skill right.
Functional Skill: The basic service or skill you provide your customer with. E. G., the plumbing that a plumber provides or the cakes that a baker provides.
This is something that tripped us up with the Grow Retreat in our first year. Even though we had high quality content and speakers in the room, we had to focus just on fulfilling basic needs of an event equal to the caliber of the speakers needed.
The Grow Retreat of recent years looks almost nothing like the first one that we put on, because we’ve gone so far beyond the basics.
But if we hadn’t taken those first couple of years to establish the basics of putting on a high-quality event (Booking great speakers, locations, marketing, etc.) we would never have gotten to the point we are currently at.
So if you want to be worth more in your business, first make sure you have the basics down pat!
Key #2: Identify and Resolve Industry Frustrations
I’m not talking about the frustrations that people within your industry have with customers or simply working.
Key #2 is about identifying all the parts of your industry that customers hate.
Identifying these parts of your industry is going to take time and involve interviewing your customers to find out what frustrates them about your industry (Check out our article on exactly how to run that interview here!). But if you take the time to have these interviews, you’ll discover a world of issues that you can resolve to create that next-level experience for your clients.
With the Grow Retreat, we didn’t have to look very far because I am the ideal customer for the Grow Retreat: I go to a lot of educational, business owner, and networking events. So while I also interviewed other business owners, I first sat down with myself, I sat down and thought about all of the things that drive me crazy about other events. From there, we moved into brainstorming how to resolve those issues for our event.
Here’s a couple of examples of what we’ve done so you can get some ideas about how creative (and non-creative) you can get with resolving industry issues...
Problem #1:As an introvert, I hate walking into a crowded room of people I don’t know, and not knowing who to start a conversation with. Social situations overwhelm me sometimes.
Solution #1:At the Grow Retreat we created a welcoming environment and provide basic industry information on all the attendees. The welcoming environment removes the “crowded room” feeling because it doesn’t feel like you’re on the outside anymore. The basic industry information (“Patricia Lennon is making waves in the ____ industry, ask her about her passion for helping ___!” with an included picture) helps people know who they’re interested in talking to so they can jump right into helpful conversations with other business owners.
Problem #2:Everyone I know who attends educational conferences (me included) hates when speakers get up on stage and pitch instead of sharing information and educating the audience.
Solution #2:We ensure that the speakers we book are going to bring actual educational content and strategies to our attendees, and we have a strict “no pitching” rule on all of our stages. The result is that our feedback forms almost always include multiple attendees commenting on how applicable the information they received is!
These are just a couple of the items on the list of industry frustrations we identified. But when you resolve industry frustrations, people notice! Especially if you do it in multiple areas.
The trick to key #2 is to make an actual list of issues you want to resolve, and then fix them. Because if you only resolve one or two of the issues, you’re not actually bringing a fully next-level experience to your customers: it’s just kinda better than everywhere else because you don’t have all the issues everyone else has.
Key #3: Small Improvements Consistently
One of the reasons we’ve been able to create a next-level event for our Grow Retreat attendees every year is because we focus on small improvements that we deliver consistently.
On top of creating the list of major friction points (Jesse Cole taught us about them and Mike Michalowicz taught us to find them at Grow2020!) and resolving them, creating a next-level experience is about the little things. The next-level experience at a hotel isn’t just about the amazing view, customer service, or furnishings of the room. It’s about the mint on your pillow, the complimentary bubble bath packet, and the quality of the coffee all set up to make your experience the best one you could have every single time you visit.
At the Grow Retreat, it’s not just about the huge industry issues we’ve resolved.
It’s about the small things too. It’s about the healthy (and unhealthy) snacks that we provide at each table and in welcome-bags. It’s about the “how to get the most out of this event” document that we send, to give people some time to prep for the event. It’s about the little encouraging conversations that our staff takes time to have with business owners to help them realize how amazing they are.
It’s about the little things.
You don’t have to create all these small improvements at once, that would be impossible to execute consistently. But you can implement small improvements one at a time until you’ve created the next-level experience.
Everyone seems to forget that the people who have created next-level experiences for their customers had to start somewhere. And they were doing the exact same things you are doing somewhere along the road.
So take it one step at a time. One day you’ll step back and realize that you are the industry standard for next-level experiences!
If you’ve made it to the end of this blog, you’re either familiar with the Grow Retreat because you’ve attended in the past or you’re wondering what in the world this event is about. The Grow Retreat is an invitation/interview only event, designed to give business owners the strategies and information they need to create massive growth during the upcoming business year. If it sounds like something you’d be interested in, check out our Agenda for the upcoming Grow2021 event and book your interview here!
About the Author:
Stephanie Scheller is a TED speaker, a two-time best-selling author and the founder of Grow Disrupt: a San Antonio based company dedicated to disrupting the way the world does business through training. In just under a decade, Stephanie has been behind the scenes with nearly 2500 small businesses. She has worked in groups and one-on-one to create total business transformation & help business owners live the life they got into business to create!