Does your small business have the X Factor?
Have you ever walked into a room and everyone has turned to stare at you?
Have you ever started a speech and known that every single person in the audience is holding onto every last word you say?
Do your staff proudly tell the world that they work for your company?
Are you customers skiting over the fact that they use your company's services?
If you are Mel B, she proudly proclaims that she knew she had the X Factor when she first started with the Spice Girls. More modestly, Ronan Keating from the X Factor believes that you never really know but people may start asking for your autographs or listening to your songs. The X Factor show has been a phenomenal success showcasing the talents of people with talent. The winners have the 'X Factor' and often go on to be highly successful. Think Susan Boyle.
But how does this translate to small business?
I remember about 7 years ago, walking into an IT client's business to film one of their vendors for an elaborate video proposal to Government and was left waiting in their reception for over an hour. As I waited, I became more and more annoyed that they were wasting my time even though I should have just been grateful that they used a small business such as mine. For a brief moment, I went into a zone (that I have never repeated thankfully) whereby I thought 'how dare they leave me waiting' and 'who does this guy think he is'.
Finally, the man I was to film walked through the door and for a brief second, my heart stopped beating. Not because this man was good looking - he wasn't. Not because he was famous. It was indescribable. He had the X Factor. He was tall, geeky looking, full of confidence and walked into the room as if he was strolling onto a stage. His handshake was strong yet warm. His smile was as if he didn't have a care in the world and his voice was deep with tones that you would only normally hear from a radio jock. I was mesmerised and on top of that, he was born to be on camera. He rolled off lines with no audio cues and had the whole gig finished in 5 minutes. The ultimate professional. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I thought about him for days, the way he stood, what he said, how he acted. There was something about him and his business.
I later found out that this man sold his technology company into a Nasdaq-listed entity and progressed over a couple of years to become the CEO. He was a Queensland boy who made good.
You can't mistaken a person with X Factor or a business for that matter. Having X Factor is not defined by looks, money or success necessarily. It is defined by the person. Sure charisma is a big start and a high dosage of confidence in knowing that you are very good at what you do - but it is more than that.
So what can you do to get the X Factor in your small business?
Simply, make it a priority.
That means believing in your brand, your people and your customers. Celebrating your success and driving your team to greater heights both on a personal and professional basis. Capture what makes your brand unique and wear it as a badge of honour. Be confident and install confidence in your team. Walk into a room with your head held high and teach your team to do the same. Shake hands firmly, looking the person in the eye. Roll off what you do as a business with excitement when you communicate it to any person internally or externally. Dress the part and never let down your guard. Learn to keep person issues out of the office and broader arena. Be a thought leader and start driving your company's positioning in the market and use media channels to get your message across to a broader audience.
Stay on top of your game and NEVER let a competitor be more innovative, more confident or more in tune with your customers.
Having the X Factor in small business is no different to having Bill Gates walk through the door, or capturing the essence that made Starbucks what it is today. You can do it! All you have to do is make it a priority.
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