Business Lessons from Fishing
by Andrew Cooke, Growth & Profit Solutions
What do good anglers know which we can use in driving stronger business growth and results?
Fishing is one of the most popular leisure time pursuits in the world. There is something about going out there, rod in hand, to capture that ever elusive fish. This takes time, patience, skill and – let’s be honest – a bit of luck.
One thing that experienced anglers do is that they don’t waste time in an unproductive location. You can try a few casts, change the bait, but if the fish are not biting then it is time to move on to a new spot.
We need to be like good anglers – if the fish do not bite quickly, then be prepared to move on and try elsewhere. You might try for the same fish in another location, or using different bait or lures, or even go after another type of fish. You want to be in a market where you will get a positive reaction as early as possible.
Doing this will save you time, money and embarrassment – it will also allow you to learn from the experience, and to apply it in future fishing spots. What we do or how good we think something is not important. There is only one judge out there and that is the market, and the market only cares if what you’ve done meets its needs.
The lesson here is that business is not about us, it is about our customers. The question I like to ask to illustrate is this: “Why do people buy a quarter-inch drill?”
I get a lot of answers – to hang a picture, for home improvements, to replace my old hand-drill etcetera. They are all wrong.
The answer is simple: “To drill a quarter-inch hole!”
Customers are not interested in the features of the drill – such as its colour, whether it is turbo-charged, the special safety grip it has etcetera – they are only interested in the outcome from using it.
So if your product or service is not getting traction or garnering the sales you want then you need to do three things:
- Check that your product or service provides the outcomes that the customers/market need (have your hook properly baited);
- Be prepared to change fishing holes if the fish aren’t biting
- Continually learn from your experience so that you can:
- produce a product/service that better meets the needs of the market (don’t confuse this with a better product which has more features but still fails to address the needs) and;
- find and locate better fishing holes more quickly.
What do you do to find the right fishing holes? How long do you wait before you move to a different location? Are you really focused on delivering the outcomes a customer needs or delivering the product or service itself?
Share your ideas, insights and experience! Share the knowledge, share the wealth!