Apple was founded in 1976 and although it has had some bumpy periods, it is one of the most successful technology companies in the world. Apple has had to do many things right in order to achieve and maintain this level of success. Even if you don’t aspire to own a multi-billion dollar company with a worldwide presence, you can still learn a lot from how the folks at Apple operate. Here are 5 things Apple gets right that you get wrong to get you started.
Apple’s customer service is top-notch and that is a big part of the reason why the company is so successful. If you have a problem with your Apple product you can browse Apple’s online knowledge base, connect with a support technician by phone or online or even head over to your local Apple Store for in-person support.
Obviously you can’t provide this level of customer support if you’re just starting out but you need to make sure that your customer service model extends beyond a 10 question FAQ on your website.
Think about some of Apple’s products – the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch all run on the same operating system. You sync your product with your computer, which not only backs it up, but it also allows you to sync across product lines. I have the same apps on my iPad and my iPhone.
Simplicity goes even further with other Apple products, one example is Mobile Me. For a small annual fee I can sync my calendar, email, notes, contacts and other important data between my iPad, iPhone, Macbook and even my PC Desktop. Now I may have too many devices to be considered simple but Apple’s products are designed with simplicity in mind.
If you don’t keep your business model and your product simple, you can’t emulate Apple’s success. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a feature-rich product, but you should keep simplicity and usability in mind.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is not only passionate about what he does but he shares that passion with you, the customer. Watch any video of Jobs talking about one of his products, especially one that is just about to hit the market, and you will see that passion shine through.
If you merely enjoy what you do and like your product, that isn’t enough. You need to be absolutely passionate about your business, your product and your services and that passion needs to be obvious.
Treat Your Employees Well
Your employees can make or break your business and that is why you need to treat them well. You still need to be the leader in your company but you should foster creativity and innovation among your employees. One way to do this is to regularly seek input from all levels of your workforce.
If you don’t have employees at this time then this won’t apply to you, yet. However, there may come a day when your business is ready to expand and you’ll want to keep this tip in mind.
Have a Killer Product
Even if you have plans for top-notch customer service, an easy-to-use product, a true passion for what you do and you treat your employees well, if you don’t have a killer product you are less likely to succeed. Apple wasn’t the first company to bring an MP3 player to market but their iPod is the most well-known MP3 player out there. Do you ever hear anyone ask “do you have an MP3 player?” Probably not very often – you’re more likely to hear the question, “do you have an iPod?”
Having a killer product takes work and you’re likely to have more misses than hits, especially in the beginning, but persistence and dedication will pay off if everything else is in place.