Will Being ‘Good’ Be ‘Good Enough’ In 2013?

Tuesday 01 January 2013

If Jersey does follow nine months behind the UK, then we can expect to see no growth, as a whole, in 2013.

The Treasury Minister, Phillip Ozouf, has listened to the Fiscal Policy Panel and downgraded growth expectations and...’blah, blah’… ’depressing’… ’boring’. Enough!

The doom and gloom has to stop. It’s painful, self-fulfilling and, ultimately, pointless. I do feel for those who’ve suffered as a result of the downturn but I also know that there is opportunity out there. Through innovative thinking and effective implementation we can put ourselves at the forefront - rather than just hoping something unfortunate happens to our competitors.

I know this because, and I’ll have to say this quietly so as to not upset the enthusiastic pessimists, there are a few local trading companies out there which are slowly but surely improving on last year’s results. They have achieved this by thinking about their products and services in original ways and having the attitude that they must become better at what they do every day.

There are seldom quick fixes or revolutionary ‘change’ programmes that make a lasting difference. These businesses have identified where they are, by accurately reviewing the profitability of their products and customers and analysing their operating cycle from prospect to cash collected. They then document and frequently tweak their operations to consistently improve each area where they can. Each small change then aggregates to improve delivery and performance.

Marketing guru Paul Dunn, who recently spoke at the Royal Yacht, says that ‘packaging’ your product or service inspirationally and becoming truly ‘remarkable’ can mean customers will rave about you and it makes sense.

Packaging isn’t necessarily just the wrapping paper or box – it’s the delivery mechanisms. Businesses exist to create value for customers. Often that value is increased when a business generates little moments of connection with its customers through imaginative delivery of what it does. Leaving a lasting impression can make a fantastically positive difference to sales volumes and price resistance.

The king of small business, Michael Gerber, agrees and believes that while it ‘takes an extraordinary shift in thinking’ the key for a small business owner in developing a scalable, successful business is working on how the business consistently delivers, and not just servicing customers well every day. An easy starting point must be measuring what matters to customers,

as they are the ultimate arbiters of value. Talk to friends, talk to customers, talk to advisers and find out what really matters and make sure your business is consistently good at it.

Einstein said that the definition of insanity was ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. Potentially, another way of saying this is that it’s not just going to ‘get better’. But how many people do you know who are struggling and just waiting for it all to improve? Why don’t we queue jump the next nine months and move forward to grasp the opportunities that are available?

Will being just ‘good’ be good enough?

Honestly, I don’t know - but don’t you want your business to be great anyway?