Making it big
by Peter Switzer
And I reckon if we accept the Reserve Bank’s commitment to exterminating future inflation to offset the expected demand surge from our commodity exports and the promised business investment for the much heralded resource projects, then large parts of the economy will be gridlocked into the slow lane of a two-speed economy.
Some sectors such as tourism, which has to endure the competitive-killing aspects of a strong dollar, could actually end up in recession. That’s why the great survivors of business have been those who wake up every morning with one dream — to make their business stand out from the crowd.
Threats as opportunities
A couple of weeks ago, I interviewed one of the legends of Australian business for my Sky News Business Channel program, Gerry Harvey, who has created an enduring brand name with Harvey Norman, and encapsulates the dream-driven obsession for success that great entrepreneurs treat as oxygen.
He knows he’s in for a battle with rising interest rates and said business slowed immediately after the Cup Day interest rate rise.
He’s also battling the online threat and he is flabbergasted about the federal government allowing so much potential GST revenue to escape as Aussies flock to websites such as Amazon.com, especially empowered by a dollar on steroids.
Harvey has always met threats and seen them as opportunities and that’s the attitude all Aussie businesses in the slow lane have to embrace.
Old fashioned though he might appear, Harvey told me everyone has to find things you can sell on the internet. He’s over the moon about his online photo business that has been a fast-grower.
It’s one thing to work hard in tough times but you get a much bigger bang for your invested buck if you put some outside-the-square thinking into that hard work.
A few years back, Esquire magazine featured Harvard economist, Roland Fryer, who took the job of chief equality officer for the New York City’s Department of Education. He wanted to raise the performance of schools in poor areas to that of those in more affluent neighbourhoods.
He proposed to make educational achievement a brand and then wanted to sell it like video games and running shoes.
“Fryer was, in part, inspired by the innovative work of marketing genius David Droga,” Esquire reported.
This got me pretty jumpy as I’m scheduled to interview Droga at his Droga5 ad agency in New York.
Droga is renown for convincing New York restaurant-goers to pay a dollar for their normally complimentary glasses of water. Called Tap, the idea raised more than $100,000 (mostly in one night) for UNICEF's clean-water initiatives.
What he did was turn ordinary tap water into a marketable commodity.
As the new year looms, the only wish you should make is to come up with an idea as good as that for your business.
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Published on: Wednesday, December 01, 2010blog comments powered by Disqus