The other day I was watching some zombie movie and realized some pretty common mistakes that the people make in every zombie movie. I thought that this is pretty similar to how so many people make mistakes in business. This thought inspired this post.
On a side note, during the zombie movie the group of people is locked inside of a building with a few zombies. Then the lights shut off and zombies jump and scream and kill them. Obviously it was more scary than I just portrayed, but I digress. After the flesh eating mayhem continues for a few minutes, the power goes out on my whole block! I never thought I would hear my 230 pound roommate whimper and toss a blanket over his head.
So that’s my near death zombie experience, now onto the business lessons.
1. Always watch your competition. Its always the guy that turn his head away from the zombie for one moment that gets his flesh bitten off. Just like you shouldn’t take your eyes off of a zombie, make sure you are always watching your competition. If they jump up in Google search results, find out why. If they are coming out with a new product, get your hands on it asap and make a better one. It is hard to out do your competition if you don’t know what they are doing.
2. Do not blindly start in a market you are unfamiliar with. Similarly to number 1, the person that walks into a room with the lights off always gets mashed to a pulp. So turn the lights on, get to know your market better. Know you competition and more importantly know your self, your own products or services and the benefits of them.
3. Look for opportunities always and everywhere. A lead pipe? More like a zombie head smasher. The people that McGyver weapons and traps together in zombie movies always survive. Survive in business by doing the same (except not with weapons, that’s illegal). Try to see beyond what you are given, to what can become. As Orison Swett Marden once said, “Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.”
4. Be different. Don’t be one of those shmucks that does the same thing as everyone else. Zombies love those people! And so do failed businesses. How can the customer tell you apart from your competition? Do something different! Hell, do something crazy even. People remember crazy and you want to be remembered.
5. Be nice. The jerks always get killed first. If not first then second, but the point is they are dead. Pull this idea over to your business and you will stand out. Many businesses are there just to make money, and people can sense that.So when a businesses is truly considerate and helpful, it makes them stand out and shine. Think of Zappos, they were essentially like any other online shoe retailer, but their customer service is unparalleled. This made them different, like in number 4. Its sad that being nice is different, but you can change that. Be nice and your customers will show their appreciation towards you.
So what do you think? Got any other great lessons you can learn from zombie movies? Leave a comment below!
Image by Laughing Squid via Flickr