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Don’t just be in business, be in the business of problem solving

No matter how much the world moves forward, the basis of good business remains the same – and that’s fulfilling a customers’ personal or corporate need. So, if you’re in the business of problem solving, you’ll always be in business.

Finding and fixing problems is big business.

Both Marketing and New Product Development are fantastic professions. Name another profession that gives you the opportunity to entrench yourself in all your customers needs and desires in order to deliver something meaningful in response? Even better yet, we get to develop solutions to problems our customers don’t even know they have yet!

What I find eternally fascinating is that whilst our world continues to change with such rapid pace, the crux of good business changes so little. At the end of the day people just want fulfillment. They want their personal or corporate lives enhanced… and they need help.

“I just need some advice with… A”,
“I would be so much happier if I had… B”,
“I just don’t have time for… C”,
“Oh how I’d like to feel… D”.

One very powerful way to sell a product or service is to help an individual or group of people resolve a [professional or personal] problem. To ‘fulfil a desire’!

Better technology, all new problems

When new technology becomes available, a bunch of new ‘problems’ arise. Some incredible stories can be told by people in business that have moved to plug problems before the customer even realised they had one. The most successful are often those that solve the problem fast and painlessly; they don’t just do something, they make it a totally frictionless experience for the customer.

You don’t necessarily need to offer the best price for this product or service and you don’t even really need to be the very best provider. Just solve the problem fast, simply and relieve your customers pain point.

Examples please…

Let’s consider the impact that the internet has had on business over the last five years and the resulting problems that are being plugged by clever new businesses.

After having booked yellow pages ads for 20+ years in order to keep the phone ringing, a significant shift from paper directory readership to digital searches is forcing small businesses to explore new avenues.

Websites and content and search engine optimisation… What the?
Blogs, SEM, payment gateways and traffic conversion… AhhHH!
Social media and location based services and mobile navigation and OK STOP!!!

The businesses who will likely benefit most from the introduction of these new technologies are probably not those that simply use it. Instead, it’s those that take these new ‘digital headaches’ away (the web consultants, platform providers, fulfilment experts, digital consultants) and in particular those that make all this new technology easy to resolve that will reap the biggest rewards.

You want in?

Most of the leaders in technology-driven-services fields picked the trends early and found a niche to settle into. These leaders are very good at making the technology seemingly-easy to use and are riding the profitable wave of their future-telling prowess. But with two million Australian businesses all facing similar challenges, there is lots of demand to support many more good problem solving businesses.

You don’t have to be a tech-head to solve problems – the same principles apply to almost any industry. The best problem solvers in any given industry are rarely not amongst the more successful.

We can all solve problems!

Whether it’s technologically driven or not, ask yourself what problem you remove from your customers world and do everything in your power to ensure it’s done fast and without pain.

What do you think?

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Thomas Mahon

Thomas Mahon

Tom is General Manager of Salmat’s SME division, Local Direct Network. Tom works with Australia's largest team of digital and direct marketing experts specializing in loyalty, data, websites, eCommerce, in-store experience, digital POS, essential mail, direct mail, undressed mail, email, SMS, competitions, social media, inbound and outbound call centers. Having worked closely with organisations that range from corner-shops to Aussie retail powerhouses Coles and Kmart, Tom writes from a unique perspective.

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