A few things I learned from speaking around the world.
I have nothing on some travelers. Some people have been to so many places that it makes my head spin just thinking of all that seat time in airplanes. But I have done speaking & consulting in six countries on three continents. That counts for a little bit of experience.
I most frequently speak about sales and marketing and management in regards to the self storage business. Like many businesses, it really looks very similar no matter where you go. I do see a few interesting twists now and again. But standing inside of a storage facility, you could imagine yourself anywhere in the world.
How do you catch people with the right message at the right time when your solution can solve the current frustration? How do you get them to contact you, feel good about the value and then buy?
The drivers for self storage are the same everywhere. People move, have babies, get jobs, lose jobs, upsize, downsize, deal with aging parents, and try to live an uncluttered life in every town and city on the planet. But consumer habits, buying styles, usage trends, and the availability of funds are not always the same everywhere. This is where the art and science of business gets interesting.
It is fun for me to see the different ways in which companies try to solve the local cultural and usage peculiarities. In our Tradigital age, the old concept of “trial and error” has become “testing and proving”. The technologies and the access to all sorts of data helps us both fine tune our efforts to understand our businesses and make us very confused as we try to figure out how to use which data. Everyone is struggling with these dilemmas everywhere.
Here is where I think great value can be created. Use the complicated technologies and complicated data sets to simplify your business to the most basic functions and measurements. The companies that will do well over the next set of changing times will be the ones who can quickly cut through the mist of information overload and take small simple steps that bring big results.