Monday, January 8, 2007/
Explore those good ideas you thought up over Christmas before the same old customer demands overwhelm you.
Now, at the start of the year, with the kids back at school and the BAS statement out of the way, it is time to discover the delights of doing something new and different as an offensive business development strategy.
It is all too easy to let increasing customer demands make you forget about the ideas you thought of during the Christmas break.
So make sure there is always a balance between outstanding customer service and investing in creativity training and brand development.
Start by making a thorough review of your last year’s losses and gains; not the cashbooks but the customers gained and the ones who have not become regulars.
It is critically important to give a few of them a call to find out what is happening in their lives and at the same time make an assessment of the way competitors are seeking to walk on your turf. Unless you are able to show a genuine interest in what’s happening in your market and encourage your team be curious about the hopes and expectations of your customers, there is a high risk that you will not be discovering the vital force for business revitalisaiton.
The first place to start is with any customer complaints and any new products or services that are capturing the attention of your own team members, their families and friends. Everyone is a source of good ideas to fix things, even if they are not very practical, but behind everyone’s silly or even critical suggestions there is a hint of a breakout, a new way of doing things or new things to do that would create new business opportunities.
As the company grows and expands into new markets, take a close look at the company track record with protection of its intellectual property and trade secrets to keep the competitive edge. Patents, confidentiality agreements and regular briefings and recognition of creative staff contributions all help the business stay vital, active and ahead of the competition. Seeing the business in a new light and opening new doors for business success require constant attention to capacity to exceed customer’s expectations.
Dr Colin Benjamin
Entrepreneurship and Strategic Thinking Consultant
Marshall Place Associates, www.colinbenjamin.net
Marshall Place Associates offers a range of strategic thinking tools that open up a universe of new possibilities for individuals and organisations committed to applying the processes of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship
Contact: CEO Dr Jane Shelton, Phone +61 3 96400099 Email www.marshall place.com.au