Many entrepreneurs are too easily put off by the ‘half answer’.
Q: Why don’t my products sell?
A: No one asks for them
Well that is an answer but is it a full answer. If we ask why again:
Q: Why does no one ask for them?
We could get any number of answers:
- A1: Because we don’t have them on display
- A2: Because they’re cheaper next door
- A3: Because the market has moved on and there’s no call for them now.
Each asks for a different reaction from the business owner, each asks for another go at asking why.
Q: Why (how) are they cheaper next door?
- A1; Because they run them as ‘loss leaders’
- A2: Because our margins (overheads) are too high
- A3: Because we source them too expensively.
We do have to be careful with A3 which has transferred responsibility from the sales force to the buyers, but they may be right, so we have to ask why once again.
Q: Why do we source them too expensively?
- A1: Because our volumes are so low
- A2: Because we source them from expensive suppliers
- A3: Because ours have a higher specification than theirs.
A1 here calls to mind the old Harry Belafonte song ‘There’s a hole in my bucket’ where the first and last lines – separated by six or seven verses are ‘There’s a hole in my bucket’.
It also points another truism about the question ‘why’. When Harry Cohen started Tesco his motto was ‘pile em …READ MORE