5 ways to build up your business
November 13, 2014
Biz Person of the Year; Think Bigger; $1.4 Billion Score
November 27, 2014

Best Buy’s Strategy; Important Strategy Book; Kept Promise Indicators; Holiday Gifts

"…keeping you great"


5 Keys to Scaling Up — my latest Venture column in Fortune (Dec. 1 edition) is online highlighting 5 ways to build up your business:

  1. Don't be myopic about marketing
  2. Fight process paralysis
  3. Love your accountants
  4. Teach your people well
  5. Invest in systems

Please take 2 minutes to read the one-paragraph details for each and choose one of the five to act on the remainder of the year. My choice for Gazelles is marketing.

Dental Brand Promises — make three promises and then measure if you're keeping them (Kept Promise Indicators – KPI!) – then grab a Net Promoter Score (NPS) while you're at it. This dental practice has nailed it with this simple survey – see picture below:

Notice how specific and measurable each promise is – can you say the same for your three brand promises? And we learned from Steve Martin, co-author of The small Big, that three is the ideal number of "reasons to buy" – more influencing than 2 or 4 or 10 reasons! Thanks to Rockefeller Habits 2.0 fan Tony Gedge, owner of Marketing Pirates of Dentistry, for sharing this example.

Why Best Buy's Stock Doubled — Best Buy's CEO Hubert Joly knows how to rev up companies, especially those in trouble. Take 3 minutes to learn three practical lessons from this ex-McKinsey consultant who has turned around 3 major companies. These are powerful ideas shared by Kaihan Krippendorff in his latest blog. First, can you state your strategy in a sentence? Best Buy's — "The strategy is very simple. We believe that price-competitiveness is table stakes. The way we want to win is around the advice, convenience, service." This led to a low-price guarantee and then a maniacal focus on delivering on the three measurable brand promises – advice, convenience, and service. Again, take 3 minutes to read about the other practical lessons. BTW, Best Buy's stock price is soaring.

Must Read Strategy Book — speaking of strategy, if you want to create products and services customers want, read Value Proposition Design, this is the latest book by Alexander Osterwalder. Though I was never a big fan of his Business Model Generation book and approach (too cumbersome); I'm a HUGE fan of his Value Proposition Canvas. It starts with a very important Clayton Christensen (Harvard Prof) question – "what is the job the customer needs done?" Then you build your value proposition from there.

IDEO vs. Quirky — need something to listen to while doing email? Here's my latest short interview hosted by Paul Dunn, co-founder of B1G1, for his online Global Impact Summit. Skip the intro (start at 6:00) to pick up the important lessons from IDEO vs. Quirky – and more tips for scaling up your business. Then check out Paul's business which makes it easy to give to charities through his Buy 1, Give 1 technology – it automates the process.

Holiday/Thanksgiving Gifts — looking for something to give to your customers as a gift? Give them a gift of growth (helps your business as well) – a gift-wrapped copy of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0). To purchase in bulk at a discount click here.


Need help implementing the Rockefeller Habits?

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.