Great question, isn’t it? Pundits, consultants and conjurers of silver-bullet-hacks have attempted to engineer an answer to this question. The heart of this recession lies in a short question with only four words. So – why do businesses fail?
Excuse #1: Today’s needs are different than they were and we’re still trying to figure out what the buyer wants
Have needs changed all that much? Abraham Maslow, a renounced psychologist, postulated a theory in his 1943 paper called “A Theory of Human Motivation”. In this theory Maslow proposed a five tier hierarchy of a human’s individual needs. These needs ranged from the most basic needs of food and shelter to complex needs of respect, morality and worship. If Maslow was right, these needs have not changed. IF these basic human needs have not changed, then I must repeat my original question, why do organizations fail?
Simple, isn’t it? Every business has a life cycle of introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Understanding when business has reached maturity and is on the way to the decline phase can help an intuitive business professional repurpose their drive, reengineer product, develop new packaging and stimulate additional demand. Change is good. Understanding how demand influences the life cycle of a business is better than good, it is exceptional. Marketing expert Kolter and Keller in their book Marketing Management share 8 facets to demand. These facets are negative, nonexistent, latent and declining on the negative demand side of the equation and irregular, full, overfull and unwholesome demand on the other side. So what does all of this mean? Though many of us would settle for irregular demand right now, an organization needs to increase demand to a healthy ratio. Easy to say, but what does that mean? Business needs to understand how to stimulate demand. Even in a declining market someone is still filling demand. That someone is exceptional at what they do.
We could certainly parse words, discuss product mix, marketing mix, market profile, earn degrees in selling concepts and still miss the main point of this short encouragement. The main point is that average and below is not in demand. If anyone of us in business is to compete in a market with irregular demand we need to perform above average. Above average in the entire mix of the good or service we are providing. I’ve met many master craftsmen who could wield the power of a tool and still went bankrupt. With the Richmond metro area creeping toward our door step, we must be ready to be exceptional, because exceptional is in demand.