For many of us, sh*t gets real in May. We’re halfway through the last quarter of the financial year and we’re either nailing FY17 financial targets and business objectives… or we’re not.
At this time of year, it’s easy to get caught in the cycle of day-to-day business management; I know I certainly have been doing this at Active Creatures – wrapping up key initiatives and deals that have been in the pipeline for some months, and executing sales and marketing programs ahead of 30th June.
And yet with all of this going on, May is also the month that we should be solidifying our FY18 business plan – looking ahead and thinking about how we compete online amongst a backdrop of change.
My personal view is that the year ahead will bring with it massive opportunities for online businesses who do two things really well:
1) creative thinking, and
2) exceptional execution.
Often when we think about creativity, we bristle with anxiety, like we’ve been asked to create the first motorcar or smartphone. But, if we deconstruct creativity and think about it as incremental changes, improvements and enhancements that we could make within our business to create unique moments of truth for our customers, the pressure subsides and the task doesn’t feel so monumental.
And while creative thinking is an imperative, it’s only one side of the coin. Even if you can re-imagine and re-define a product, service or customer experience that is compelling, relevant and unique, execution is the skill that will ultimately determine the scorecard at the end of the financial year.
As you think about the year ahead and as you read more articles about American giants entering the market, I encourage to remember that not all Australians shop purely on price – customer experience can be a differentiator for online businesses and it’s created by doing a few things exceptionally well, every single time.
As you plan FY18, unlock creative thinking by considering what your online business is going to excel at, and by doing so, what value will be provided to your customers. Write down what you do today, how you can improve it tomorrow, and how you will instil passion in your team so that their execution aligns with your vision and business plan.