Has your business stepped too far away from your customer’s problems?

One of my fundamental beliefs is the best and most successful companies were set up to fix existing problems and then some were set up to help fix the next wave of problems.   

The best and most successful business strategies in the world are based on problem-solving.   

The most successful companies either help to fix said problems, help consumers to solve the problem or matchmake the consumer and the right solution or solution provider. 

The art of business always needs a middle person to connect problems with problem solvers. 

One of the core issues many companies face is getting to a size where they stop solving core issues for their customers. 

Here’s a common overview of moving away from problem-solving: 

  • Company x has a dominant market share 
  • They have a suite of tools that plenty of customers use regularly
  • Then company x believes the market is in a place of maturity where others will not compete or will not gain enough market share to cause them issues  
  • Then this causes many companies to create operational efficiencies, in the forms of reducing investments, slowly reduce headcount and hiring, spending and budgets reduce
  • Leading to reduce in the number of products that are shipped and allowing the internal team to understand the Product is no longer of the highest importance 
  • And then subsequently, the amount of feedback that is listened to internally and from customers is reduced and the importance stack ranked constantly 

For some organisations with a broad set of companies or businesses under their corporate umbrella, this can work for the group, not for the company part of the larger org and importantly not for the customers. 

Customers have to seek different solutions and other providers and slowly but surely the momentum starts to shift. 

I have worked through an IPO, through acquiring international companies and been through an acquisition that changed the business, the most successful in all of these situations kept problem-solving and evolving the product to solve more problems at the heart of their strategies. 

The Problem With Stopping Problem Solving 

Once you stop addressing problems for your customers and potential customers, you are creating problems for yourselves, your business and potentially then the industry. 

Many companies get to a size where they forget they are there to serve their customers and then their shareholders and their stakeholders. 

Most often what is best for the customers is good for the shareholders.  

In a business world that is constantly changing, with startups and upstarts can come in and compete quickly even in the most mature markets, the focus has to be on problem-solving and knowing what the customers want but also what they need. 

Audit and review how far away you and your business have removed yourselves from problem-solving and place problem-solving back at the centre of your business.  

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