Most of us know a little bit about electricity. Nobody actually understands electricity, really, but we know enough about how it works to use it. And as regular people, we`ve learned such things as "circuit" and "positive or negative poles."
We know that electricity doesn`t go anywhere or move along a bunch of wires in a circuit unless it has someplace to go. That`s the "ground." Strictly speaking, electricity moves from hight to low potentials, but that`s a technical discussion. For our purposes, electricity moves to the ground.
The point of all this is that we can push electricity as hard as we want, but it isn`t going to go anywhere unless it`s also being pulled. The push-pull combination is fundamental to the movement. It forms a closed circuit. If there`s a gap anywhere, then we have an open circuit.
Likewise, you can push a business and push it and push it, but so what? Without the pull of the buyers---the customers---nothing is going to happen. The buyer is the destination. The market is the "ground."
We could make the analogy go the other direction. We can build a bigger and bigger area of ground, and "demand" that there be electricity flowing into it. But so what? Without a source for the electrical energy, there won`t be any movement. There won`t be a circuit. There won`t be any sparks.
Right now, there`s a fantastic market for fusion-powered flying saucers. Anyone who develops them will be a gazillionaire. So? The size of the market and the demand of that market are meaningless if there`s no such thing available.
We`ve had a number of topics about customer service. We also, most of us, have encountered business owners who don`t care if they have customers. Those customers always will be there, they`ll always buy something. They`re not necessary. Only the business owner and his or her actions and decisions matter.
Conversely, we`ve had discussions about how treating customers in some reasonable way improves the revenue stream of a business, not to mention the reputation.
Customers "pull" the movement of a business the same way the ground is the destination of electrical current.
Now think about incentive.
When you have a business, products, processes in place, great customer service, a fine attitude, good looks and a winning personality, what happens if you don`t have any customers? Further suppose that you know you have a viable product---it`s already been selling just fine.
The reason for this topic is that we`re seeing an interesting problem in our own business. I`m not sure if anyone`s noticed, but it seems as if the economy is slowing down lately? If you haven`t noticed this, there`ve been some articles in the papers about it.
At any rate, this would be an excellent time for us to make some backup inventory. We have lots of things we COULD be doing, but we find it hard to do them. How come?
I`m suggesting that it takes energy to do anything at all. And that energy, like electricity, needs a destination. It needs a "pull" in order to move. When we sit for long periods without sales or without customers, there doesn`t seem to be a strong incentive to "back-fill" and do make-work.
Anyone else notice this? I`m supposing it would mostly be in businesses where you make or create your own products, but maybe not?
We`ve spent countless hours doing marketing, selling, making, adjusting processes, getting more efficient, streamlining, and so forth. We DO spend a lot of time honing the business, getting things sharper and better.
But there`s only so much energy you can come up with when things aren`t going outbound. It`s like pushing and pushing on the wire, trying to get electricity to move. Without the destination connecting up, nothing`s moving all that much.
Have you folks noticed this? Is it harder and harder to be innovative, creative, energetic, disciplined or inspired? You`re already spending lots of time working on various things that need doing, or could be done better, or that you`ve put off for some down time.
I`m not saying that we don`t do anything. Instead, I`m wondering how everyone is filling the time that used to be, or ought to be devoted to actual business? Just curious... :-)