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Small Business Innovation Lesson from Steve Jobs & Apple

Photo Credit - Pbs.org

Photo Credit – Pbs.org


Small businesses are struggling.  Local businesses, particularly retail, struggle even more.  The pressure of big box stores and e-commerce have made a huge dent in the marketplace.  We all know the stories of local merchants, contractors, etc. closing up shop when the “big boys” come to town.
How do small local businesses survive and thrive?  How do they carve out a unique place in the marketplace?  How do they leverage their uniqueness into success?  And, finally how do they turn success into significance and really make a difference.
It is time to do things differently. The same old actions will get us the same results.  If we continue to rely on interruption marketing and pushy sales techniques that only serve us as the seller, we will continue to see the big boys push the small businesses out of the market.  But, if we are crazy enough to believe that we can do something different AND make the world a better place… Maybe, Just Maybe we can accomplish something amazing.


Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. –Steve Jobs


You may ask.  “How do we take different actions and get different results?” “So what do we do differently?” “I’ve already tried everything I know?”
The answer is Giving and Serving.  It is time for small business owners to realize that the answer to how they succeed and how they make the world a better place is the same thing.  In order to succeed they must give, and if they are successful then they have a responsibility to give back.  It is like a never ending cycle.  AND, the cycle starts with Giving and Serving, not success.


You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar


It is time to innovate.  To truly serve our clients. To be creative.  To break the traditions of our industries and give our clients what they really want.
Steve Jobs did this by giving people a phone that was what they really wanted even though they didn’t even know they wanted it.  He thought about the way people like to interact with a device and what they wanted it do be able to do .  Then, Apple created a device to do that.


[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@brianmininger” suffix=”#smallbusiness”]It is time to break the traditions of our industries and give our customers what they really want.[/inlinetweet]


Ask yourself, what are the things that people hate about doing business with my industry.  Maybe it is pricing, inconvenience, mess, disruption of lifestyle, automated phone answering, pushy salespeople, etc.  Then, set out to serve your clients by solving those problems.  Finally, give them something meaningful to get their attention and bring them through your doors to discover what you have done for them.

What do people hate about doing business with your industry? How have you solved that?

Share your thoughts in the comments

  • Brian