Don’t Be A Walrus: Why You Should Stand Out


There are many pitfalls in business. This article isn’t about the weak financials, poor sales or lack of marketing. It’s more about finding yourself and where you are leading your company.

The other night, I was watching a segment on the mighty Walrus broadcasting on the Discovery channel.  I watched as groups of walrus floated along the shore flopping all over each other. Tusks stabbing at their neighbors as they pushed and shoved around trying to find a place to rest. Huge fat bodies just lying all over one another – none of them really getting to a comfortable spot.

The narrator spoke of the dangers from their hunters the Polar Bear on land and the Great White in the sea. So that’s it? Just lie there on the shore all their lives? Can’t go in the water because of sharks. Can’t go on land because of polar bears.

Sound like your business? Don’t be a walrus.

Get Out Of The Middle

Growing up in a family that owned a Chevrolet and Cadillac dealership was a great experience. When we eventually sold them to a larger Boston dealer he said this to us – “The  only difference between you and me – I’m in Boston.”

He was right. We had everything going for us. Our family name. Great employees. Great location. Most of all, great customer retention. We were stuck in the middle. About 45 minutes south of Boston and 20 minutes from Providence.

Stuck in the middle of buyers demographic and running a medium sized operation. Best way to deal with this? Downsize or expand.

Look around you.

Are you stuffed in between too much competition? Offering too much to a small audience? Feel like everyone is hitting you with their tusks?

Get out of the middle. Start to think about operating more efficiently. Fewer products, cutting overhead, and refocusing your goals. Start to think off of that shoreline with the rest of uncomfortable walrus.

Go Ahead, Jump In

The poor walrus can’t go in the water because of the Great White. You can’t go up against the “big guys” because you’re afraid. Afraid of getting beat on cost or brand name.

Time to throw that fear out and jump in.

There is no better time than now to compete against the reigning champions. Social media gives you access to user reviews and customer interaction. High Definition video allows you to showcase yourself better than ever. Mobile technology is putting the purchasing decision right in the hands of your customers.

Get out there and compete. Start to think like a Great White.

Conclusion

While starting up our business, we were trolling in the middle grounds of product and service offering. Saying we could offer anything you wanted. The problem is, we were spreading ourselves too thin. Each project was too variable from the next and efficient workflows couldn’t be achieved.

One year later, we are a lot sharper on what we are offering and how we can deliver it. Customers are getting a better understanding of who we are – most importantly – so are we.

We are running away from the walrus pack – are you?

 


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I am a web professional, entrepreneur, blogger and hopeful motivator. I co-founded Slocum Design Studio and blog about my experiences on MatthewM.org. Success is when just one person benefits from what I have to say.

Discussion

  1. Jennifer Brown Banks on the 18th December

    Matt,

    This was a great piece. It made me smile, think and nod my head in agreement. Love the creative metaphor and the strategies as well. Much continued success!

    • angelee on the 21st December

      yeah, the metaphor also caught my attention. We’d rather be the polar bear than the walrus.

  2. Jennifer Brown Banks on the 20th December

    Matt,

    Great article–clever ideas and approaches to positioning and standing out in business and life.

    • Matt on the 21st December

      Jennifer,

      Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you liked it!

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