08 January 2018 xBusiness

Listen out for those new opportunities

People have made resolutions for themselves and their businesses which will involve some mighty challenge. But smaller changes can be more effective.

New years are new beginnings and are a time for hope if not outright optimism. They should also be times for change, dropping old habits and adopting new ways – out with the litho and in with the inkjet so to speak. The important thing is not the precise technology, but that things should not stay the same. Opportunities stem from change.

The challenge is that over recent years, companies have pulled in their horns, learned to trim overheads and become risk averse. This can all too frequently mean also becoming blinkered to new ways of doing things, additional sales opportunities or changes in direction. The temptation is to stick with what has been successful in recent years to remain in the market as as consolidation continues to harvest two business a week. Why invest for change if the strategy is to keep doing what you are doing, hoping that others fail faster?

The new year provides an excuse to change this: to resolve to actively seek out new opportunities, to take phone calls rather than spend time in real or fictitious meetings, to engage in conversations with as many suppliers, customers and competitors as possible. Study after study has shown that idea generation and innovation are among the greatest challenges that businesses face and that ideas come from talking and listening. The listening habit is one resolution that will contribute to beneficial change for 2018.

Gareth Ward

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