Welcome everyone to the end of the year; it’s great to think we’ve made it! Not only, hopefully, are we still alive, but our businesses are still running too. This latter point is probably more surprising than actually physically existing, given the sheer incompetence of Governments, especially ours in the
Following the UK’s experience with the financial crisis this year, I have decided to redefine the ‘mother of all Parliaments’ – namely, the UK’s – in these terms: The UK Parliament, a Definition: A place where second rate minds with third rate principles, and no vision, legislate to afflict the working population. I welcome all comments that can improve upon that definition and even surpass it; if I am impressed enough by entries/comments I may well award a prize in a fit of 2010 generosity!
The key issue for us all is to go on running successful businesses, and running a successful business is not primarily about the money. In fact as was observed long ago – the primary purpose of a business is to attract and retain customers. How is this done? By providing outstanding levels of service. Making a profit is a by-product of outstanding service levels. Running a business, therefore, is being incredibly socially useful.
One end of year thought, then, is: are your service providers giving you outstanding levels of service? If not, why are you with them? My wife and I have done a review of our service providers and it is a salutary experience. Big changes are going to be shortly implemented at our end.
A second end of year thought is to return to basics – the simple truths that underpin all success. One of these that I am particularly fond of is Peter Drucker’s maxim that only two things make money for a business, and everything else is a cost: to wit, innovation and marketing.
I am going to spend a lot more time this year being even more creative about our services and our products, and innovative too about the marketing of the same. As I review the last 18 months I realise that although we have ‘marketed’, we have not had a strong enough focus. Although we have a unique product, we have not sufficiently got this message across in the niche areas where leverage is massive.
So my final piece of review advice this year is: get yourself a business strategist – get someone to challenge your assumptions – get someone to get you getting more focus en route to market. I intend taking my own advice – in fact splendidly so: tonight I see in the new year celebrating with my strategist. Wine may make things a little hazy tonight, but I am sure that by tomorrow 2010 will be as clear as day.
Happy new year to all my readers!