There’s no doubt about it, Apple is one of the greatest companies in the world and for a lot of businesspeople, the companies co-founder (the late Steve Jobs) is considered to be one of the greatest businessmen ever to live.
I mean, Apple’s products have quite literally changed the world and although the company is quite often classed as arrogant in their approach (as even the companies co-founder, Steve Wozniak believes), there’s still a huge number of lessons that any business owner can learn from Apple.
Think about it, chances are that you are using an Apple device to read this post now or if not, you probably still own an iPhone, iPad or iPod device (or have done at some point). To achieve this level of success, you have to do a lot of things right so clearly, there’s a huge number of things that business owners can learn from Apple and hopefully, put into practice within their own companies.
Here are a few of the most important things that I think all businesses can learn from Apple’s success.
#1 – Create Awesome Products
I know that statement sounds a bit generic but when I say the word awesome, I really mean it. Apple has always been known for creative products that define and in some cases, actually create entire product categories and markets (as was the case with the iPad a couple of years ago).
If you think about Apple products, what do you think? For me, I think about how they’re quite literally the best products on the market and that a huge amount of time and effort has clearly been put into not only their design, but also their functionality. Last year, Apple’s chief designer, JonyIvespoke out about Apple’s passion for design and quality, rather than quantity.
Their products stand out amongst the crowd and even if you’re not a particularly avid Apple fan yourself, you’ll find that to a lot of people, Apple quite simply make the best products within the industry.
This is exactly how Steve Jobs felt about the company too. He felt that there was no point creating products for the sake of it, they had to stand out and they had to be innovative whilst at the same time, maintaining a high level of simplicity.
Every business can learn from this. If you’re pumping out run of the mill products and wondering why they aren’t flying off the shelves, this is probably the problem. Similarly, if you’re providing bog-standard services to clients, you’re also going to see a limited level of success.
You need to create products that are the best. You need to create products that are awesome and that people will want to come back for.
#2 – Offer Great Customer Service
I’m sure that some Apple customers out there will disagree with this one but for me, Apple have always offered some of the best customer service within the industry. A couple of years ago, my friend had a problem with her iPhone and after taking it into the nearest Apple store, the helpful worker simply handed her a brand new iPhone there and then; no questions asked.
It’s this level of customer service that customers expect these days and if you can provide it, it will help you stand out from the crowd. We’re literally drowning in a sea of poor customer service so if you can get this right, you’re well on your way to creating a hugely successful business with a great USP.
So think about it; is your business really giving customers the best possible customer service it can? If you answered yes to this question then I can tell you that you’re wrong. It doesn’t matter how great your customer service is, it can always be better and you should be constantly striving to improve it.
Apple’s customer service might be excellent, but I’m sure it can still be improved in a lot of ways too.
#3 – You Must Care About What You Do
If you’re in business for the money, and only the money, then get out now, as it’s a poor sole reason to be in business (as highlighted by Forbes list of five bad reasons to become an entrepreneur). If you don’t care about what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be in business at all
A lot of businesspeople enter business these days with the sole aim of making money and obviously, if we’re all honest, this is always going to be the primary reason to start a business. However, it shouldn’t be the only reason.
The reason Apple is the huge success it is today is because of the people that work for them. All of the people within Apple care deeply about what they do and they care about the fact that they’re making the best products on the market.
It’s this mentality that you should strive for in your business too. You should care that you’re offering customers the best service in your industry. You should care that they’re happy. You should care that they want to come back and you should care whether or not they feel that they received great value for money.
If you don’t, you should find something you truly are passionate about and start a business in that industry instead. Passion is everything!
#4 – Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
I’m sure that any avid Apple fan has heard this quote before and to me, it’s one of the most life changing quotes out there. Quite simply, it means that you should always be hungry for more and always be willing to make mistakes to take your business to the next level.
It was Apple’s innovative leader, Steve Jobs that created this quote during a University speech a few years ago and since then, it’s been classed as one of the most life changing speeches of all time. Yes, it’s a phrase that’s been reiterated a million times on various websites and in various quotes books but if you truly live by this rule, your business will likely flourish.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in your business as it’s these mistakes that will lead to a better company in the long run. Learn from your mistakes and move on. You never know, once in a while they might lead to something extraordinary.
I’m sure some of you reading this post won’t agree with some of the points made and some of you might not be particular fans of Apple either, but although this might be the case, there’s no denying that their business model works.
Today, Apple is one of the most well-known, most valuable companies in the world and quite simply, it’s the fact that the company always stayed true to their philosophy (i.e. the points made in this post) that led to the level of success that they’re now experiencing.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Marc Lehmann