A business owner and customer sit down together for a meal and moan about their bills, each from their own perspective. They agree about the joys of receiving their monthly bills whether by snail mail, or email, if you’ve gone the paperless route. So many bills! Telephone, mobile phone, vehicle, satellite dish, internet, mortgage, insurance, etc., and the list goes on! Well, for those who can afford these ‘privileges’, will see these bills every month. What if a change occurred in delivery of our bills?
Business Plans and Tools
A business development and management course I had taken taught putting together a business plan. One of the steps requires annual cash flow projections showing a slight increase, of prices each year and keeping up with potential of rising inflation and/or our competitors. This helps to see, and/or, realize the potential success, of the business project at hand aka the financial forecasting exercise.
Research is done by marketing firms and businesses to check out ‘trends‘ and/or discover new customer insights. These reports are tools that help businesses adjust and improve their own marketing efforts, to their existing, and/or, for new customers yet still make a profit, to continue operations of their business. It is a great practice and tool, for all business owners.
Customers Collective Buying Power
Now, at the other end, we have our customers. As a customer myself of different services, I have come to realize that many businesses earn over the top profits, with the amounts of monies paid each month. Our governments have control over infrastructure and delivery of some of these services, such as Hydro and we know that our electricity bills, are skyrocketing, least in Canada. This adds a financial burden to many struggling to stay afloat of homelessness, unemployment, etc., since wages aren’t keeping up. What is up with that? Oh! Got to love this quote.
Just Over Broke
A business needs customers to operate. The monies from every customer especially when gathered together, and drawing upon a customers ‘collective‘ buying power, add up. We are the ‘target market‘. Prices continue rising and we continue paying even though we’re at the edge of broke. I must add another quote that’s awesome, bear with me please. 🙂
‘I’m not Greedy if I ask for only $1 from the whole population‘
Examining that quote about not being greedy, can you imagine how much money can be gathered, from the whole population? For Canada, there’s near 34 MILLION people. Now, reassemble that number with the amount of one of your bills but lesser number of people, say, 12,500. Business planning requires answering the question about ‘market share‘ meaning, how many customers needed, to make a profit? Do you see the amount of monies a business can collect from their ‘target market‘?
Oh! the Businesses will cry Foul!
Can you hear the business owner protesting? Alright, yes, the business owner has bills and financial responsibilities of his own. S/he will have to pay off equipment costs, business loan debts, staff, business licenses, rent, memberships, equipment maintenance and/or replacement, insurance of one kind or other, etc., and it adds up. One beauty about business plans, is they can pinpoint, to almost the nearest dollar, what exactly a business will be required to spend aka ‘expenditures‘. They can’t foresee all future obstacles, that may cause disruptions, of their services and/or products but it’s recommended, to be prepared.
Fair, Unfair and Outright Greed
The prices of many of our gadgets, utilities, services and needs will vary. As customers, we constantly seek out the lower price, to free up and further our own spending power. Some people say the government enrich themselves, off the backs of the People, paying themselves with the Public tax monies, using Public tax monies to pay for ‘government business needs‘ (airplanes, chauffeurs, hotels, meals,rent) always wanting more, raising taxes, creating claw backs, Greed just seems to runs rampant in government office these days, yeah?
Customers don’t just stop at governments either. They will look at business owners and discuss the outrageous price hikes of various products and conclude, greed is the driving factor. The struggle to keep food on the table, heat, water, daycare, telephone, satellite dish, internet, the costs keep rising. Do business owners genuinely appreciate their customers these days?
The many businesses that exist, looking to improve their operations and/or, to attract more customers, can just look at their own ‘personal emotions‘ about bills, to find an opportunity, to change their marketing efforts. We can create our own ‘mover and shaker‘ experiences for customers.
A few simple ‘incentives‘ a business owner could offer customers and build ‘popularity‘ could be, the following
- offer a one year FREE service for sending in referrals (but no conditions, such as must be new paying customer, that’s asking for unrealistic guarantee )
- offer one month HALF price or FREE month (i.e., Christmas month)
- offer a ‘once-a-month deduct your bill‘ customer day
- offer once a year billing
The point is to realize, customers are struggling to make ends meet too. Rather than viewing them as a ‘money tree‘ and ripe, for harvesting them for every dollar. Take a step back and see, how can a business make their life easier, and, grow loyal customers?
Learning in Action
I hope you found this article informative and gained some new insight. Please feel free to share with others! Use the ‘Ask a Question’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. I hope you visit again for more informative articles coming soon.
Article(C)2009 – current AIC| An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills and development, health, science, technology and society, and enjoys advocating for social justice, security, and, a better world for all of us. She works as a VEA to help businesses operate more effectively.