Malcolm Gladwell, a talented and observant staff writer for “The New Yorker,” has written a little book that you, the entrepreneur, should read as part of your basic small business education.
Here are the details:
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell, Feb. 2000, 288pp.
Gladwell understands human behavior and social trends that have shaped the American economy and influenced the business world so profoundly.
If you’re a businessman, an advertiser, customer relations specialist, product developer, or web site owner, The Tipping Point holds many nuggets and gems that will influence the way you view your job and execute your mission.
Come to think of it, the solo business owner is all of these specialists rolled into one so you would do well to study Gladwell’s premise that ideas, fads, fashions, products, messages and behaviors can be triggered to “spread just like viruses do.”
Therefore, the little changes we make in how we do business can have huge and profound effects on our company success.
Get a small number of people (talkative and satisfied customers) sharing their happiness and pleasure about your product or service with others and that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or “tipping point” is realized.
The “tipping point” can be a magical moment for the entrepreneur when the word of mouth endorsement of his business story or product or service crosses the threshold, tips, and begins to spread like wildfire!
Consider this analogy: one sick child in a crowded classroom can start an epidemic of the flu in a neighborhood.
Likewise, a small but precisely targeted marketing campaign can start a fashion trend or cause the popularity of your product to skyrocket literally overnight.
What Gladwell terms “word-of-mouth epidemics” can be started with the unconscious help of three pivotal types of customers.
“Connectors” are the gregarious sociable personalities who bring important people together.
“Mavens” are the middlemen, the moderators, the go-betweens who like to pass along special expertise and knowledge.
“Salesmen” are evangelists or preachers that are able to persuade the unenlightened.
These personality types are natural “pollinators” of new ideas and trends; they are the people who create the word of mouth “buzz.”
Gladwell uses many modern day anecdotes and examples of trends and fads to prove his point that ideas can purposefully be made to become infectious.
Often very minor adjustments in the execution of your solo business can “tip” the prospects and customers in your direction and the result is much greater company profitability.
As a businessman, you have the power to create and start an epidemic of your own that will flood your business with new customers and increased sales.
I don’t want to say too much more about the book for fear that you’ll not get a copy and read it yourself.
This is one business book that belongs in your library. You will come back to it often!
To your online business success,