1) You must be excellent
Michael Jackson was nothing if not a perfectionist. He was the greatest entertainer of all time, because he had his hands in everything. It wasn’t just about the music; he designed the lighting, the choreography, the video montages, and his wardrobe.
When you first start a business you do 10-12 jobs. As the business grows and you delegate tasks you still need you know all the positions in your company. Are you paying attention to every detail in your customer’s experience? Effective follow-up after the sale is a great way to do this. You want your clients to say you were the best small business vendor they ever worked with.
2) You must have a signature move
We all know that the first time Michael Jackson did the moonwalk, and that became the move people always wanted to see. What is your secret sauce or custom process in your business? Does your business have a signature that your customers are aware of?
Signature service could be the way you say thank you, or the uniforms the employees wear, or it could be a seamless process that takes a burden off your customer. A close family friend died last year, and the funeral home took a photo and had a faux oil painting done in four business days and presented it to the family as a gift at the end of the service. They do that for all their funeral services. Take some time to think about your signature move.
3) You must be strategic about branding
From the very beginning he wanted to be legendary. He was just 21 when he made Off the Wall. But by the time he made the Thriller album, he understood branding as well as any Madison Avenue ad agency. The infamous sequin glove he wore when he did moonwalk, to the red leather zipper jacket from Beat It video, and his dance moves were all part of his brand. Every time Michael Jackson released an album he reinvented his look. His versatility was his brand. He managed to be original and timeless at the same time; children who never saw him perform live know the words to his songs. Is it time for you to reinvent your business?
4) You must be an innovator
Michael Jackson was self-taught in music and dance. But he studied Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin and Frank Sinatra. Every time he did something first, he did it best. Thriller was the great selling album of all time at 100 million copies, and in the video for Thriller the song had the world on the edge of our seats waiting for the world premiere. Is there an innovation in your business that could have the world on the edge of our seats waiting for it?
5) You must give more than you get
Michael Jackson made the Genesis Book of World Records for most charities ever supported by a pop star. While he lived, he gave more than $500 million dollars to charity, and in death he left 20% of his estate to charity. What have you given to your favorite charity? Do you just give money or do you give your time?
6) Who is the business owner in the mirror?
“Man in the Mirror,” was one of Michael Jackson’s most famous songs. In it he talked about changing the man in the mirror. What do you need to change about the business owner in the mirror?Does your family know what kind of day you had based on how you treat them? Are you a family first entrepreneur or a work first entrepreneur? Lets all work to keep our family and friends as our #1 customer.
If you’re ready to start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog. www.succeedasyourownboss.com
Lisa D. Sparks says
Great post Melinda. My favorite tip: “Who is the business owner in the mirror.” It’s tough to get out of that old comfort zone but I know it is possible! – L
Meryl K. Evans says
For all the troubles and eccentricities he had, you have to admit he was an amazing businessman. He stayed in the public eye by taking risks. Excellent insight, Melinda.
Jane Jordan-Meier says
Phenomenal post Melinda. What great tips and yet again reminds us of the legancy that Michael Jackson left us. Your marketing is a great example to us all in smallbizland. Thanks. Janie
Richelle Shaw says
Great job, Melinda!
Ray McKee says
Outsatnding bit of valuable information! Sha-mon…
Brenda Horton says
Great post Melinda! Awesome analogy. Michael Jackson also taught us a lot about humanity. When he was not performing, he seemed more human-like, i.e., genuine, sensitive, heartfelt, humble, grateful, vulnerable. As a small business owners, it’s important to understand today’s business climate of authenticity and transparency. While we may become focused on getting out our products and services to our clients, it’s much more important to STAY HUMAN in the process. Moreover, Michael was a genius at building his FAN base. He cared about them and saw them as human beings who LOVED him. It was the relationship he had with his FANS that made him so beloved by millions. What kind of relationship are we building with our clients, customers, vendors, partners, and employees?
You are exactly right. The life’s blood of any business is customers and employees. It’s all about them and not about us. I think you have inspired me to create another blog post
titled: “What kind of relationship are we building with our customers?” Look out for that post soon.
Ian Gadson says
Great post Melinda!!!!! Keep doin what you’re doing!
Charles Uwa. Omoregha says
Great work! i have been reading your works since I started following you on twitter.
Now you owe me just one thing…an email to let me know when your book is launched. i can’t wait to have it in my library.
Please promise me you won’t fail.
Thank you so much for letting me know that what I’m trying to do is getting through and helping.
I love entrepreneurs, and I write so that their path to business ownership might be easier. I can definitely promise you that
Be Your Own Boss! will be out in Feb 2010.
I will not fail my tweeps 🙂
My best to you,
Buy Dress says
Wow,I adore Michael Jackson! He was the most talented to ever do it! We will never ever have someone like Michael Jackson! RIP to the GREATEST!