With more talk regionally about climbing unemployment rates and a second wave of job losses post the mining boom, it is the right time to get competitive in your business.
My hat dips to those people who put everything on the line and create their own business. Some might call it brave in this current environment, but I call it smart. Times of economic change can also provide great opportunity for entrepreneurs.
And speaking of change, with the centenary of the BHP steelworks opening on Tuesday, 2 June 2015, I was reminded of the opportunity that came from two significant changes to our economy. The first when we became a steel city and the second when the doors closed and the Hunter got smart about its future and created new face of business and skills for our region. Many have labeled it a ‘renaissance’ for the town. As a marketer I am more enthused by the idea that we got business and marketing savvy. We encouraged people to think creativity and proactively about what we wanted to be, and how we wanted to get there – and in turn course we have all reaped the rewards of a much more diversified economic landscape.
But it’s time to put those savvy hats back on. We are in another changed landscape – one that cannot be completely dependent on mining must emerge.
For organisations that get savvy and put their customers at the centre of their business there was much to achieve. Business in its most basic sense about creating a service or product that people want to buy. The more customer focused and appealing that product or service is the more the chance of success.
So how can this region’s business community create an environment that provides us with the next generation of Hunter savvy?
Many businesses, both established and emerging, fail to identify the importance of the need to constantly make sure that their products and services are genuine. What I mean by genuine is that that it must meet the customer’s needs, so it has to evolve and in fact be ahead of market expectations. Invest in creativity and innovation to make sure it will hold up to the test of a changing market need.
Despite the sad demise of our traditional media, advertising and marketing are still amongst the most effective tools of business. But, like all areas of business, it is a professional skill set and if you don’t have it in-house then buy it in. Marketing is not an idea it is a science and it can add great value to and organisation’s bottom line if done right.
We all become so close the to the day-to-day running’s of a business that we forget to see ourselves as others do. If business works by the decisions of different parties involved you’ll never know what to expect. People who are currently not a part of your chain may someday be interested in the prospects of your business, and on the contrary you may develop similar interests towards a different business. Networks like trade unions, industrial relations and general acquaintance can go a long way in terms of future requirement. But the real key to effectively networking and positioning your business is to build your own database of intelligence,
One of the toughest issues for many businesses is finding time to plan. Without a plan there is no direction and without direction you will not move into new spaces. It must be a priority and it must include all the aspects of your business. Make sure you have the right people around the table regularly to make sure you are being strategic about your business and that you continue to place your market as a key stakeholder of your savvy business.
Belinda Bow is the Managing Director of Green Chilli Marketing - a specialist marketing and business consultancy firm based in Newcastle.