Our good friends Jim and Alice offered me a wee whiskey last night when I went over to pick up James from band practice.
Alice is Scottish, so a small whiskey on a cold Saturday night is just something you do.
I’ve had about 3 whiskeys in my whole life. So it hits hard when you sip it straight.
As we sat round their kitchen table, Jim and I start talking business.
As Jim says, ‘It’s tough in retail….’
‘The banks are still holding up money…’
‘People aren’t spending…’
Yet on the Today Tonight programme during the week they were showing all the new millionaires who were making money on the internet.
The landscape is not the same for everyone.
Or is it?
And as I scan the Consumer Confidence figures from the Roy Morgan July survey,
‘In early July Consumer Confidence was 107.7pts (down 1.4pts in a fortnight) according to the Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating conducted over the last two weekends — June 25/26 & July 2/3, 2011. Consumer Confidence is now 14.8pts lower than a year ago, July 3/4, 2010 (122.5).’
Years ago I was speaking at a conference where Ibis Research head Phil Ruthven was speaking.
He said that in all his years as a Economic Forecaster, the best predictor of future economic activity was consumer confidence.
So if Consumer Confidence is still low, Retailers can expect a dry time until the next retail spending boom.
As Jim says to me last night…
‘Leigh.. what’s the answer?’
I’M NO GURU BUT……
OK, so I’ve been involved in Business Coaching and Consulting for almost 30 years but does that make me a guru..
And what do Gurus do anyway?
Most times they speak simplicity, the basics, the foundations..
So here goes.
To quote a Master wiser than me, the late Professor Peter Drucker
‘Business has only two functions – Marketing and Innovation..’
THE ANSWER TO THESE TOUGH TIMES
If you’re going to get through these tough times, you’d better Market and Innovate better than you ever have in the past.
If the number of consumers out there spending are less, you’d better get better at getting your fair share of the cake.
What have you invested in getting better at Marketing and Innovation in the past 6 months?
What are your plans for investing in getting better at Marketing and Innovation in the next 6 months?
SITTING ON YOUR HANDS WON’T CUT IT
As Julia Gillard gets ready to announce details of the Carbon Tax tonight, what do you think that’s going to do to Consumer Confidence?
(Why Australia has to be first with this whole experiment is something I question… Leading Edge or Bleeding Edge???)
OTHER C WORDS TO CONSIDER
CHALLENGE – to challenge your old ways of thinking and doing things. To challenge yourself to go to the next level. The winds may not change for some time, so re-set your sails.
COMFORT ZONES – are the enemies of change. To take innovation to the next level you might want to consider doing things in your business that no one else in your industry has done yet. That takes another C word – COURAGE
CATALYST – a Catalyst accelerates the change process – the chemical or transformational reaction. Do you need one in your business?
COMMITTMENT – Involvement = Commitment. If you want people committed to a new plan, a new solution, a new way of doing things, get them involved in the process and the conversation.
COACH – All top athletes have a Coach. Why? Because the coach often is the catalyst, the challenger and the stretcher of comfort zones. The Coach can see things the athlete can’t (or won’t) see.
If ever there was a time in business we all needed some coaching and catalysing, it’s now..
I’m running one of my Innovation Workshops on Tuesday with one of our clients here in WA.
By the end of it we will have come up with at least 3 major Innovation Projects to take their products, their services, their efficiency and results to a whole new level.
The process works..
But you have to have the Courage and Committment to say ‘We are now Innovating – at a Faster Rate than we ever have in the past…. Let’s commit time, energy and resources to it. Because if we aren’t Innovating and Marketing better than our competition, we are going backwards….’
The only way forward is Innovation and Marketing…
Hope that helps answer you Jim… (and anyone else who might be listening…)
See you next week..