- The Bitsing method is used daily by the most divergent organizations at gaining their aims – from a multinational with 265 billion turnover to a start-up.
- With the Bitsing method you achieve exceptional results; many percents turnover increase in dangerously decreasing markets are no problem and 300% increase is no exception.
- The Bitsing method is embraced and is instructed at universities worldwide – which have found scientific proof – and at Colleges.
- The Bitsing method has been accredited by the Ministry of Education Culture and Science of The Netherlands as a Bachelor education.
- The Bitsing method is part of the European Master program in System Dynamics, initiated by the European Commission.
- The Bitsing method is mainstream for three winners of the election Commercial Director of the Year.
- The Bitsing method is the only business management method in the world that can predict results verifiably.
- Many organizations have introduced a Bitsing department.
- The largest companies are practicing the Bitsing method.
- And the most important reason: you obtain your objectives guaranteed.
Toys XL interview: “retail magic – with Bitsing!”
Eddy Assies is the General Manager of Toys XL. Assies moved into the ‘real’ toy business in 2012, working for Toys XL. We asked Eddy a few questions about his experience, as general manager of the business, with the application of Bitsing, and what the business consequences were for Toys XL.
Question: You’ve now been implementing a Bitsing master plan for a few months. What are the differences between this and your previous approach?
Eddy: ”Bitsing introduces structure, efficiency and direction. Thanks to the Bitsing plan, we know what we have to do. All our choices are now governed by the Bitsing pencils strategy. The pencil strategy ensures that you always make the right choices for your organisation.”
Question: What else has the Bitsing pencils strategy done for Toys XL?
Eddy: ”Lego was identified as one of the Bitsing ‘focus products’ at Toys XL. In other words Lego played a dominant role in our turnover. According to Bitsing thinking, the product should therefore receive a corresponding degree of attention. The reaction at Toys XL was therefore to establish a 100% Lego store. We also laid out all of our stores according to the proportionate turnovers indicated by the Bitsing methodology. We no longer apply the traditional retail formulae which prescribe that your ‘money maker’ product should be placed in the back of the shop, in order to lure the customer to walk through the entire shop. Bitsing prescribes that you must use the actual ranking of product turnover. If Lego dominates, then that must be the first product you see when you enter the store. Playmobil is the second most important brand at Toys XL, so after being impacted by the Lego sensation the customer must enter the world of Playmobil, followed by the other products, pro rata to their turnover ranking.”
Question: What else appealed to you about the Bitsing approach?
Eddy: ”The idea of the ‘risk-free offer’. Bitsing told us that if you want to attract store visits you should make a risk-free and, in particular, a non-commercial offer. The offer should be free of any threshold to acceptance and attractive enough to motivate people to visit one of our stores. This requires more than a simple discount. Bitsing calls this a risk-free offer.
“So we claimed the ”wish list” during the St Nicholas (a Dutch tradition, early in December) and Christmas periods. Children could fill in their wish lists for presents and throw them into a wishing well, which we constructed especially for this purpose. These cardboard wishing well displays were supplied to every store so that children could throw their wish lists into them. These wishing wells were then placed just inside the store entrances and a winner was then drawn from these entries. The winners won every product on their wish list.
“Children brought their wish lists to the stores in the company of one of their parents, which then increased our store traffic enormously. The wishes could, of course, also be delivered digitally, which also ensured more online traffic to our web shop.”
Question: Were there other surprises that emerged from Bitsing and were applied by Toys XL?
Eddy: “Yes, certainly. We always thought that mothers and grandparents spent the money in our shops. This was an assumption. The Bitsing analysis shows that it was actually fathers. And that was in fact so. The father pays for the products at the checkout and the mother and children influence the father and stimulate the purchase. As a result, we started to focus more on fathers in our communication.”
Question: Which Bitsing element, applied by Toys XL, turned out to be the most significant and was responsible for the most change? Eddy: “Bitsing provides an analysis which reveals exactly what makes your organisation uncopyable. It’s not a strengths and weaknesses analysis, such as we are familiar with, but a tool that ensures that Toys XL will be unbeatable in the marketplace. In Bitsing language, ‘unbeatable’ means that Toys XL’s messages to the market are unique – it’s communication which our can never equal or imitate. It’s quite an experience to implement this. After all, if you say or do something in the market which others can copy, that doesn’t make you any more attractive than them – but according to Bitsing we had something really unusual. So what was it that made us uncopyable? The Bitsing analysis revealed that we were a “Dutch child with American parents”. We are, after all, derived from Toys ‘R’ Us, the world’s biggest toy store, which originated in America. And the largest Toys ‘R’ Us store in the world is situated – where else- on Times Square in New York. While our competition in the Netherlands is Intertoys and Bart Smit – and they come from Volendam, a small fishing village! The difference is obvious.
“Bitsing revealed our uncopyable factor and this what Toys XL have applied. We do business, for instance, with a mixture of the traditional Dutch emphasis on common sense and business sense, combined with thinking big and being service orientated in a typically American way. Which is why we chose for a marketing communication approach that uses typically American traditions, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On these days American shoppers go completely crazy, because the shops are open for 24 hours and stacked with special offers.” Question: Do you have more success stories in which Bitsing methodology has played a role?
Eddy: “Yes. Something that I personally found interesting happened at the Meet and Greet at the Spiellmesse, the big toy fair in Nuremberg, in Germany. Lego was so impressed by our approach that they rewarded us with some special benefits. So Toys XL now receives its Lego shipments before all the other toy stores in the Netherlands. We won’t be surprised if we get Apple Store scenarios unfolding, with kids camping outside shops in sleeping bags in order to be the first to get the latest Lego Chima or Lego Ninjago items!
“As a result of this success story we are busy opening our second Lego store and, by the end of the year , we plan to have four Lego stores.”
Question: How would you describe what Bitsing has done for Toys XL, in one sentence?
Eddy: “retail magic !”
Interview MIEP Design – from dream to reality
• Starting a business is a decision – not a risk
• How the BiTSing method guarantees success
Githa Minis – Interior architect
Every entrepreneur has, at some stage, gone through the process of starting their own business. I am no exception. It’s a challenging experience – at the very least, as I wrote in the introduction. Income is always necessary, but how will you ensure it? And when will it come in? As a result of such concerns a very large number of aspirant entrepreneurs never dare to take the step towards independence. Which is why I wanted to include a motivating and inspiring story in this book – for everyone who has dreamt of their own business, but never turned that dream into reality. The following case study is about Githa Minis, a young woman who took the challenging decision to start her own business – in a situation that had seemed hopeless. Nothing forced her to take this step. She took it thanks to a dream and, as she says, ”Thanks to the Bitsing method”.
This is Githa’s story. My first acquaintance with Bitsing ”The economic crisis had made it difficult for me to find a job after graduating as an interior architect. I submitted at least fifty applications for jobs in large design agencies. The response was uniform: ‘insufficient experience’. Indeed, in a market with very many applicants and very few vacancies, it’s impossible to get a position without experience. So I was forced to take a job in catering. At the same time, I still wanted to pursue my dream and follow through on the years of study I had put behind it.
“My catering job brought me into contact with Frans. His advice was that if I had a dream I should follow it; that if I wanted to start my own interior design business, I should just do it. This had, indeed, always been my long-term dream, but had intended to first build my experience by working for other companies in the industry. Frans, however, convinced me that if I followed the Bitsing rules, my success would be guaranteed. ”I rose to the challenge. Not because I dared to take the risk, but because insight into Bitsing methodology showed me that I would succeed, without a doubt. I resigned from my catering job and started MIEP design – my own interior design business. Filled with enthusiasm, I worked day and (sometimes) night to ensure the success of my new business. It’s a great feeling. Thanks to Frans and Bitsing I was able to busy myself with my greatest passion, while seeing the dream of my own business taking shape around me.
MIEP design ”The business name didn’t just occur to me out of the blue. The Bitsing method showed me that you have to be uncopyable – and that your uncopyability should find expression in everything you do. My immediate thought was that this also applied to naming the business. Bitsing also delivered a real eye-opener: Large, professional design agencies were absolutely not my competitors! And I should avoid this becoming the case. (And to think that I had originally wanted to work for one of them!) ”I had learned, of course, about the Bitsing concept of the ‘money competitor’ – the answer to the question: where does my target group spend its money when it doesn’t engage an interior design agency? The answer was simple – and surprising. They spent it on DIY. My competitors appeared not to be the professional design agencies, but the clients themselves. They were the money competitors. So I had to convince my target group that their money was better spent on me than on doing it themselves.
This, in turn, would succeed once they knew what made me uncopyable. So I went in search of what made me uncopyable in contrast to clients’ DIY tendencies. The Bitsing method led me to the following conclusion: Dutch common sense. I was born in the northern province of West Friesland and grew up in a traditional, Dutch family. One in which the well-worn Dutch maxim was applied and practised: ‘Just use common sense – it’s uncommon enough’. Moreover, I was simply drawn towards everything that’s authentically and typically Dutch. I can’t explain it further, but what’s really Dutch really works for me. It’s just ‘how I roll’!
“So what happens when you combine the principles of interior architecture with … common sense? Well, you get an Interior that looks fantastic, that you can be really proud of and that also respects the practical requirements and enjoyment of the people that will live in it. It will lack false pretence and needless ‘decoration’ – and excel in functionality. In a contrast, an interior that’s just beautiful but can’t, for instance, deal with the impact of children and dirt is less desirable than it first seems. In fact, the emphasis is far too often on design, form – and not on function. My approach would be different, a blend of design (the experience) and Dutch common sense (the practical function). Effective interior design – in fact what clients ideally want when they do it themselves. Straightforward design, with both feet firmly on the ground. In fact, a real MIEP (a typically Dutch name for a simple, straightforward female character, also often humourously used).
“As it happened, I didn’t have much time to think up the name. However, I let myself be guided by the Bitsing model’s requirements for creating awareness in a target group – the requirements of step B of the Bitser ladder. The name conformed. It’s simple, surprising, attracts attention, is short and impactful, memorable and one which such basic familiarity that everybody thinks they ‘recognise’ it.
Three reasons for not starting your own business: ”Whenever I talked to friends about starting my own business I was immediately overwhelmed with an abundance of arguments as to why I definitely shouldn’t. I had no experience all, it was an insecure income – and anyway, I wouldn’t even know where to start. After all, I’d only just graduated! There are always enough reasons for not doing something, but Bitsing gave me a new perspective. It simply confronted me with the reasons why I indeed should start my own business! The single reason to start today ”When Frans started telling me about Bitsing he brought many factual arguments to bear. These demonstrated why one should start a business and how every obstacle would be surmountable. They were facts. They offered me handhold and forced me to accept that there was no alternative to believing that I would succeed. ”
I made my own Bitsing plan and started to reduce the number of hours I worked for the catering business. As I steadily implemented more elements of my plan, the process became ever more magical. It was strange, but it was as if a voice kept on whispering to me, ‘This is really something. It can’t fail. You must give it everything you’ve got.’ These were, of course, nothing more than my own feelings. But they came to the surface because of the enormous positive energy and conviction developing around me. All sorts of things were taking shape, and after six months I had resigned from my job and started working full-time for my own interior design business, MIEP design.
”My Bitsing plan told me that I should focus on houses advertised for sale. Applying my Dutch common sense, I brought concept to the market that would satisfy four parties simultaneously: the house buyer, the seller, the estate agent – and myself. Many houses reach the market in a bad state of repair and are dated in appearance and style. This is an obstacle to potential purchasers. My concept provided a virtual makeover of any house offered for sale. This was based on a completely new interior design for the entire home, presented by means of an artist’s impression. The house would then be sold – on the basis of its new, virtual interior and together with a quote for its renovation. Purchasers would immediately be confronted by the home’s full potential plus the appeal of its new and practical functionality. They could also see exactly what it would cost to turn this dream home into reality. ”This approach immediately lowered the threshold to buying a house. Houses that previously had attracted no interest were now getting many enquiries and some were indeed being sold on this basis, together with design and renovation package contained in my virtual makeover. I am now introducing more estate agents to my concept.
“In everything I did, I was guided by the requirements of Bitsing. I knew that it would enable me to succeed. And I was completely right. The positive effects are unavoidable. Whenever I have presented my ideas, people bought into them. For Bitsing always stimulates belief and conveys trust. Even more so because it contains the tests that determine whether your plans will actually succeed. It’s a handhold, a foundation on which to build.
It does require investment of your time and money, both of which are in short supply when starting out. I didn’t do this lightly, but as a result MIEP design has been established, is successful and is here to stay. ”My plan is to continue to evolve MIEP as a successful business which, in itself, will create more jobs as it expands! ”Frans asked me to summarise how I had benefited from Bitsing. This is my list. And, in fact, my credo:
1. Never spend money before you’ve earned it.
2. Only invest time and money in ‘sharp pencils’.
3. Ensure that there is demand for the product you’re selling.
4. Focus on your product’s purchasers – i.e. know your target group and appeal to them.
5. Your competition is where people spend their money if they’re not spending it with you.
6. Don’t make sales offers if they don’t address why people aren’t buying.
7. Don’t construct your campaign out of your own problems.
8. First make your brand and name known, then sell.
9. Discover your own uncopyable characteristics; ensure that you remain uncopyable.
10. Use your own uncopyable characteristics in your marketing messages.
11. Enable people to draw their own conclusions. Don’t tell them what to do, just hint at it.
12. Stick to the facts.
13. People must want you before they buy you.
14. Traffic is very important. You need it to make a sale.
15. Ensure that traffic and contact is risk free for the customer.
16. Consider media and messages you use to achieve your goal. Will they reach the right people?
17. The medium doesn’t determine success. The message does!
18. Keep your goal in focus and don’t diverge from it!
“In the beginning I had no idea of what to do, while I am now absolutely certain that I’m doing everything right! Everything is so fact-based that it’s irrefutable. Everything I’ve learned now guarantees the success of everything I take on. The volume of enquiries coming in makes me feel that it’s unnecessary to convince people to take my product. What I do – works! Bitsing inspires me, convinces others and at the same time creates its own discipline: stick to it – and you’ll achieve your goal. There are always, of course, moments in which you ‘lose the plot’. In these moments I go back to my notes, absorb the wisdom and once more know what I have to do. Bitsing is a manual for entrepreneurship. I love it. It’s allowed me to do what I studied for 9 years.
And the best thing is that at the close of every day I have, once again, seen my business grow. A fantastic experience. ”My dream has become reality. My hope is that everyone who wants to start their own business will, through my story, also see their dreams fulfilled.”