Dear Aunty B
I have reached a turning point in my business where I have to make some key decisions. We have grown very fast for a few years and done it really hard.
While we are now making small profits and our resources are limited, I feel we need to project a different image to the marketplace.
I am thinking about moving into a bigger office, feel we should upgrade our cars and start to take clients to some important corporate events.
My (silent) business partner thinks we should be focused on other areas such as getting our prices lower. What do you think?
Which way do I go?,
Dear Which way do I go?
Well, if you can’t figure that one out I have no idea how you grew so fast. You seem to be all over the place, so let’s go back to basics.
The customer is what it is all about.
What do they want? I’ll tell you that they want: on-time delivery, highest quality product or service, clear points of contact, and for you to deliver what you have promised.
Clients could not give a fig about whether you have a stylish office or work in a dump. In fact, corporate clients quite like visiting start-ups in dumps. It gives them a chance to wear open neck shirts and slum it.
Customers also could not give a toss what cars you drive, although if they are petrol guzzlers it will count against you.
As for lower prices: are your customers complaining? No? Then leave price cutting to the giants. As a fast growing business you need to focus on service as your key point of difference.