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How To Improve Your Small Business By Looking To The X Factor

A firm TV favourite in the UK for many years, X Factor launched in the USA back in 2011 to rave reviews.  Having been exported right around the world since it hit American soil, it’s clear just how popular the show is.

Like American Idol, X Factor is expected to launch the careers of many bands and artists, but there’s also a lot that you can take away from the show to help improve your small business, with these three points being prime examples.

Listen to what the experts tell you

In the X Factor, each group of contestants is assigned a mentor.  Every week, these mentors – experts in the industry – help their acts with everything from song choice through to stage presence.  While they don’t always get it 100% right, the judges have years of experience and know, for the most part, what works and what doesn’t.

As a small business, there is such a lot of help out there that there shouldn’t be any real reason why you aren’t a success if you’ve got a strong business model.  From networking groups with guest speakers through to business coaching, the help is available, you just have to first do your research to find it and secondly be willing to take on board everything you’re told – whether you like what you’re hearing or not.

One point to note here is that ‘listen to what the experts tell you’ doesn’t necessarily have to mean industry veterans – your customers are the people you need to impress and they’re the ones who are ultimately going to give you the best business intelligence out there, so never fail to listen when they have something to tell you.


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Give the audience what they want

The only reason any organisation can be a success is because they’re offering a product or service that is needed by a relatively large audience.  You may think you have the best product or service in the world, but the simple fact is, without people needing it, it’s of little use.

On X Factor, each and every week the acts deliver songs that their mentors believe are going to go down well with the audience.  They very rarely pick obscure songs and they usually choose a mainstream hit and have the act put their own spin on it – they know the song’s already going to be well-received, so it’s just a matter of satisfying the fans by ensuring the act makes it their own.  And when something doesn’t go down as well as expected with the audience, the acts learn and grow for the following week.

When you’re running a business of any size, if the audience aren’t satisfied, you’re doing something wrong and you need to change it.  As we said above, it doesn’t matter how great your product or service is, if it’s not what your audience want, you need to sort something out quickly.

While there’s various different changes that could be made depending on the organisation and industry, it is worthwhile knowing that this could mean a change of audience.  On the X Factor, the majority of acts are pop-based because this is what the audience want.  Although death metal, for example, has a huge audience as a musical genre, you don’t see any death metal acts on the X Factor because the two don’t go together – death metal isn’t what the audience want and so that’s not what they’re going to be given.

Have others help you out

In the latest season of X Factor USA, One Direction performed two songs.  Fantastic for One Direction as they got to sing in front of a television audience of several millions, it was even better for X Factor – One Direction do some basic publicity, such as telling their 7.7 million Twitter followers that they’re going to be performing on X Factor and you can pretty much guarantee a healthy percentage tuned in to watch the show.  Sure, some may have only stayed to see One Direction, but there’ll have been plenty more who watched the full show.

In this sense, guest performances on the X Factor are just like guest blog posts.  You ask someone popular within the industry to write some content on your blog and while it’s good for them because they can reach out to a new audience, you get to benefit from the publicity as a result of them promoting the blog post across their social media networks.  Will every follower read it and click through?  Nope – but it’s a certainty that a good proportion will, many of who will come to be a part of your audience and therefore potential customers.

As a small business, you shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help.  Whether you know it or not, there are hundreds of resources readily available to help you out  – and as we’ve shown by this blog post, you can in fact take something away from most successes in life, regardless of their relevance to your own organisation or industry.

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