Contributed by Neal Polachek, Founder of ThinkLikeAnApp

I don’t know about you, but I often like to look back into my digital calendar to see what I was doing around this same time last year, the year before and even further back. When I looked back today, I realized it was about two years ago today that I set out on a journey into unknown territory.

I didn’t have a compass, a map, or a precedent to follow. But I did have a room of 100 business owners eagerly waiting to hear how ThinkLikeAnApp℠ could help their businesses.

It was two years ago when I had my first speaking engagement in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was the “launch” of a concept I knew the business world was ripe to implement.

A Transformation Story

I can remember the day vividly (of course, having a phone with a camera with me at all times helps too)!  Like I often do, I went for an early morning run along the Asbury Park beach. As you can see, the clouds were ominous at that early hour. But the day turned into a lovely brisk and brilliant fall day on the East Coast.

Along the way I ran past the Stone Pony, the local music spot best known for helping launch Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band.

Later that day, I learned that Asbury Park was coming out of years of decline and hard times. It certainly didn’t look that way to me that early morning in October 2018. But as someone told me, “You wouldn’t want to take a run on the beach a decade ago. It just wasn’t safe.”

Times had certainly changed. I saw a new high-rise condo going up near the boardwalk. Today, those units are going for well over $3M each! It’s all a testament to how Asbury Park has been able to evolve over time. It’s grown from the birthplace of “Bruce,” to a tired dilapidated town, and finally to a revitalized, in-demand beach town.

Making the Choice

So what’s this have to do with anything that matters to you, the local and small business owner?

Transformation of all shapes and sizes, in many forms and formats, are essential for growth and survival. Asbury Park faced the need for transformation a decade ago. Would they continue to fall behind and watch neighboring communities foster business climates that moved tax dollars from Asbury Park to places like Sands Point, Galilee or Long Branch?

Or, would they seize the opportunity to build on their past successes and create new future wins? Clearly, Asbury Park chose to transform. The community is much better for it, including my safe and beautiful beach run that early morning two years ago.

See, as a business owner, you are facing one of the transformational choice moments right now.

Whether you are operating near the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey or the cornfields of Des Moines, Iowa or the electric car factories of Fremont, California, change is upon us. It doesn’t really matter where you run your business. What matters is that how you run your business has to change.

Meet the Modern Consumer

Today, you must learn to meet the needs of the Modern Consumer. They are demanding, skeptical, vocal, and living life through their smartphone! So you, as a business, need to evolve — just like Asbury Park did — to meet the changing demands of today’s modern consumer to maintain your position in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

That day in front of a hundred local business owners in Asbury Park was the beginning of the journey for me and ThinkLikeAnApp. Since then, I’ve shared this powerful engagement framework in more than 25 cities across America — and with hundreds more business owners.

Along the way, I learned more about the state of the American small business owner than I could have ever by reading reports and analyzing data. As I traveled from city to city and listened and learned from local business owners, I became more and more convinced of, and committed to, the power of the ThinkLikeAnApp framework to help business owners evolve their business practices for continued and future success.

3 Core Pillars

If you haven’t seen one of my presentations, or heard one of my conversations with Gordon Henry on his podcast, “Winning on Main Street,” very simply, ThinkLikeAnApp is a trust-building methodology — built around the 3 core pillars of authenticity, transparency, and immediacy.

When effectively embedded into how you do your business each and every day, these 3 pillars enable you to meet, and exceed, the customer’s expectations. You’ll build and enhance the trust between your customer and your business, and thrive — even in our current unusual and challenging circumstances!

I actually want to say: especially in our current unusual and challenging circumstances. No matter what kind of business you have, or where you are located, the one thing that is a constant is the requirement to accelerate your technology adoption. As a business owner, you no longer have a choice about whether you want to do business “online.”

You now have to decide how am I going to do business online. How do I take those things that I have built my success and my reputation on, and apply those using technology?

Transform, but Stay True to You

The good news is that ThinkLikeAnApp is a framework that connects the digital dots. It empowers you to create and deliver your own unique customer experience, which the Modern Consumer demands, while staying true to YOU. I encourage you to embed your personality — what I’ve started calling your unique essence – into the digital marketplace. It allows you to stand out and stand on what makes you you, while delivering to your customer.

But ThinkLikeAnApp is more than just talking about the 3 pillars — authenticity, transparency, and immediacy.  It’s about operating from these principles.  By embedding authenticity, transparency and immediacy into how you do business, you put your unique essence “on display” each and every day. That’s how you create a great match between your customer and your offer. And this fundamentally creates a great customer experience. And great customer experiences are a requirement of success with today’s Modern Consumer.

This isn’t a quick fix that’s going to happen overnight, and it’s about so much more than just technology implementation. But it is the game changer for successfully navigating today’s challenging environment.

This is why I’ve committed myself and my team to developing the ThinkLikeAnApp framework into a workshop. We’ve created this training course to focus on how you can actually embed these principles into your business. I can’t wait to take the decades of business expertise that I and my team have and support you to quickly and efficiently implement this into your business.

Join Me at Thryv Connect20

We are officially launching the ThinkLikeAnApp course in conjunction with Thryv’s Connect20 event coming up on Nov. 10 and 11. Sign up here for the event and make sure you get my session on your calendar.

On Nov. 11 at 11 am, I’ll be diving into three critical questions that every business owner needs to answer today. How you answer these questions can make the difference between success and failure — between meeting the modern consumers demands and expectations, and being left behind while others serve your customers.

I can’t wait to see you at Thryv Connect20, and I can’t wait to support you and your business in these challenging times. We’ve got some special activities planned for the first wave of business owners who join us.

And, whether you are a current or future user of Thryv’s tools, know that our implementation and training is built around you getting the most out of your technology investment. We don’t show you how to use the Thryv tools, we’ll show you why to use them to support your larger business goals & objectives.

See you on Nov. 11. Get your seat today.