Customer surveys key to success
FRASER Coast businesses doing it tough should survey their customers, find out what they want and make changes, according to financial commentator Peter Switzer who visited Hervey Bay yesterday.
“Get a great self-improvement business book, start drawing up new strategies for marketing and new strategies for inspiring your staff,” he said.
“I'd also make sure the people who are advising you ... show you things that you don't actually know.
“Don't put up with second-rate contributors.
“It's always, I think, during tough times that opportunities come along.”
Mr Switzer, who gave an entertaining and motivational speech at business breakfast hosted by Optus yesterday, said lots of small businesses were under pressure because the Reserve Bank raised interest rates far too quickly.
He said anyone in a business selling discretionary products was finding it hard because consumers were being really cautious.
But the Sydney-based commentator hoped the Reserve Bank would leave rates on hold until next year but it would depend on unemployment figures and the inflation rate released at the end of next month.
“If unemployment goes down below 5 per cent and the inflation number is strong, they might think about a rise in November,” he said.
“But I'd love to see no rate rise it means that we'd have a great Christmas retail period and that'd be great for business.”
Mr Switzer said most businesspeople avoided doing the hard things needed to take their business from a score of seven out of 10 to 10 out of 10.
“A lot of us are good at business but often those of us who'd like to be eight, nine or 10 out of 10 don't have the desire to go to the next level because it's outside our comfort zone,” he said.
Mr Switzer suggested doing a SWOT analysis on themselves as leaders of their businesses, to find out their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
He said people might learn that they have to reallocate their precious time and hire others to do tasks such as check emails.
Mr Switzer said leaders should also learn how to get the best out of their employees and identify a frustration in their business, then create a system to eradicate it.