I first found out about Adrian Swinscoe‘s book idea some months back when he came to the pilot of my Worklife Makeover workshop in London. We started chatting about it over coffee, waiting for everyone to turn up. By the end of the workshop Adrian knew how he was going to bring it to life, and the folks in the room were massively supporting his efforts in the process.
So, I’m delighted that he’s got it written and published now, and if you want to grab a copy, head across here.
Meantime, I asked him some questions for the folks here.
Hey, Adrian, the title of your book is RARE Business. Give us a synopsis.
Hi Christine. Thanks for having me here. First, the title. If you look up the word “rare” in the Oxford English Dictionary the most common definition is ‘something that is seldom seen’. However, there is another meaning that refers to something of ‘uncommon quality’ or something that is ‘unusually great’. I’m running with this second definition
The book steps readers through a framework which, if implemented, provides comparable, or better, growth results by changing focus from attracting new customers to nurturing and developing your existing customer base.
The tone of the book is conversational and informal, so the strategies and tactics it goes through are straightforward, practical and easy to implement.
The ideas are brought further to life by interviews and insights on customer retention and growth, not from other writers or celebrity entrepreneurs, but from 16 CEOs and MDs of leading and successful mid-sized companies.
What inspired you to write it?
I’ve wanted to write a book for a while now so it’s been a personal ambition to put some thoughts down on paper. However, writing it has also allowed me to articulate what I like and what I think works in building a great business. Also, as I say in the book, it’s a call to action for how we can all create better businesses and better places to work.
The whole thing is based on an ethos that the traditional way of growing business – one that is focused, primarily on customer acquisition using traditional marketing methods of advertising and other ‘broadcast/mass media’ forms- is becoming a less and less effective. In the book I use the metaphor of the song “There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza” to talk about how strategies that focus purely on customer acquisition rarely address some of the systemic problems that lead to churn, and how doing so could significantly change their business results.
It also talks about how the advent of modern technology (internet and social media) is causing us both to think differently about how we do business and giving us the tools to fundamentally change our approach. Growth is more and more becoming about building relationships than building numbers and this book really talks to that.
It has quite a funky format – content, examples, cartoons and white space for notes. Tell us why you chose that style.
I read quite a lot of business books and find that many of them are very dense, filled with jargon and new language. I wanted to create something that was both engaging and usable, so came up with the idea of a hybrid book/notebook style, based of the Moleskin concept. My intention was that, through the design, readers engage with the content in a very real way. I’d love it to stimulate and motivate business owners and business leaders to take the ideas in the book, apply them to their businesses and make changes that will help them create a business that is RARE.
Who’s your ideal reader and how would you hope they’d make use of your book?
The book is aimed at owners and leaders of established small and large businesses that want help to think about how they can create better relationships with their customers and their people to drive sustainable growth.
Any spin offs planned? Other products using the RARE process?
Depending on the success of this book, we believe that we have created a format that can be replicated, a bit like the ‘Dummies’ series although at a different level, allowing us to create a series of ‘RARE’ books like RARE Numbers, RARE Marketing, RARE Leadership, RARE Teams etc. We have create a new company RARE Publications to do this and would work with other authors to create this series. We also want to create electronic, audio, DVD versions and complimentary workshops and consulting help to increase the reach of our message and build a RARE network of companies that follow the sort of approach that we are advocating. Ultimately, we would like to build this network so that we can have a RARE Business Awards, where we can recognise the businesses that are ‘RARE’, look after their customers and create great places to work.
Finally, what feedback would you like from readers here?
What I would like from your readers is two things. First, feedback on the book, and stories of how it has affected the way they do business. Secondly, help to spread the word as together we can change the world
I say that with my tongue in my cheek a little but I am also serious. The feedback on the book so far has been very positive and we may be onto an ‘idea of its time’. I hope so.
Finally, if anyone would like to discuss any of the ideas in the book further or would like me to speak at an event that they or their company is organising I would be more than happy to talk to them. Hope that is not too much of a plug