14 Dec 2010
December 14, 2010

So what comes first?

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Over the last few months I’ve been coaching the owner of a start-up business who has felt overwhelmed my what she percieved to be a long list of admin that she needed to do before she could get the business off the ground.  I have been helping her gain clarity around her next steps so she could see the wood for the trees.

As part of the session I offered up a few questions:

  • Is a business successful because it meets its customer’s needs?
  • Or does a business meet its customer’s needs because it is successful?
  • Is a business successful because it pays VAT?
  • Or does a business pay VAT because it is successful?

When we visit a successful business we often find neatly organised accounting, matching lever-arch files, the latest laptops, a well-equipped warehouse, an impressive website and a posh reception area. Is all of this stuff what made the business successful, or did they become successful because of the way that they really understood, addressed and resolved their customer’s needs? Which came first?

With a sufficient budget we could create that perfect environment, but would then find ourselves sitting there listening to a ticking clock. Or we can spend the time understanding what keeps our clients awake at night, demonstrating that we have the answer, and then meeting their needs.

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