Thursday, January 27, 2011

Some Like It Hot...

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot nine days old
Some like it hot, some like it cold
Some like it in the pot, nine days old

Though I had learnt this nursery rhyme way back in my elementary days, little did I appreciate its depth and reality. A recent happening left me with a lesson that brought back strongly the essence of the rhyme.

I’ve already shared this personally with so many but more assuredly, I will hold on dearly to this in my career as an Entrepreneur. Truth is, long before I took off on this journey, I’d learnt that businesses must focus on identifying and meeting needs. It’s about providing solutions to certain issues of the clients or customers. However, I have discovered even another dimension to meeting a need.

Couture is my first line of business at the moment. I’ve not kicked off fully yet since I’m still putting a few things in place and rounding off at the fashion school. All the same, after over 10 weeks we have mastered certain basics of dress making and started making some wears. I decided on starting with complimentary jobs, a good opportunity to introduce myself in the market place. I took this one job from a good friend, and went ahead to execute with what I look back in retrospect as a little understanding of her preferences. The job came out well; truthfully many saw it and commended my efforts. I put in a lot of hours to add creativity here and there. It was one of my first jobs for heaven’s sake; I couldn’t afford to make it simple. Lo and behold, I took it for fitting and despite encouragements that I’d done well on a number of notes, she said – “the style is not me”. And then it dawned on me, nothing satisfies a customer like the exact blueprint of their expectations.

This other dimension to meeting a need is in ensuring one knows the details in full of what the customer needs and wants. It’s about reading in between the lines when they are giving their briefs. It’s about asking; asking and asking….just know that client. It goes beyond the efforts you put in, the time you’ve sacrificed, the funds you’ve expended, all would be like nothing if the other party involved isn’t fully satisfied. So now, more than anything, I’m asking and learning about my client.

While sharing this experience with some loved ones, another perspective surfaced. The same lesson applies in the other relationships like in families, and with friends. We tend to give what we feel would be appreciated because that is probably what we may want if we were in the shoes. So a woman is giving her husband a big card that sings because she really appreciates it, but he doesn’t even like cards in the first place.

We would do our relationships and businesses good if we go this extra mile to research, discover, learn what exactly we must do, how we must do, when we need to do while providing solutions. Honestly, those experiences of spot-on-execution never leave us; they enhance relationships, boost our morale from positive feedback and increase our network base through referrals.

Leave your own personal preferences and know the category your customer, client, loved one belongs…for in actual fact, some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it old and some don’t even like it.


t said...

Hmm, thanks Footsteps. Speaking of need right now (I, like many other content producers in Nigeria e.g. books, music, music) need distribution. Can you do that? :)

t said...

DIstribution: I talked to the owner of a bookshop and found that they have a chain of stores...not one store. Wee, that's a start.

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