Sunday 17 December 2017

Giving your customers what they want, as opposed to what you think they want, is the key

What I wish I’d known before I started

Be generous with time, says Donal O'Donogue
Be generous with time, says Donal O'Donogue

Donal O'Donoghue

'One of the biggest learnings I've taken on board since launching the business is to get out of the office more. We're in the business of building long-term, sustainable relationships with our clients and candidates - but you can't do that effectively if you're stuck behind your desk and caught up in the day-to-day demands of running a business.

"I've learned that I need to be externally visible in the market. By spending time with and listening to our customers I can better understand their challenges and strategic plans and then shape a bespoke solution for them.

"Entrepreneurs tend to have vision and drive and occasionally the belief that we can do it all. Remember that the delivery of your business plan is not possible without the right team in place. I chose a team of people whose opinions I respect and listen to and whose values I share.

"It may sound obvious, but ask your customers what they want. Find out what they like and don't be afraid to ask what could be done better - feedback is a gift. Putting the customer at the centre of everything you do is a strategy that will serve you well. I've learned that feedback on the various elements of our service is the key to refining our value proposition. Giving your customers what they want, as opposed to what you think they want is the key.

"Having a mentor in business is invaluable. Seek out those who have achieved success and learned from their failings along the way. Since launching Sanderson last September, where I went into business with the principals of Resource Solutions Group, Mike Beesley (the group CEO) has been a great mentor.

"Mike encourages me to set ambitious goals and encourages my competitive instinct. It truly is such a valuable resource to have someone that you trust and that you can rely upon for sound advice and inspiration.

"Be generous with your time. Time invested in helping your colleagues develop to reach their full potential will come back to you ten-fold though performance and loyalty. Time invested helping people external to your business will fuel positive word of mouth.

"So, even though there aren't enough hours in the day, it is worth giving time to industry groups and networking events, where you can lend your expertise and grow your network."

Donal O'Donoghue is managing director of Sanderson Recruitment

Sunday Indo Business

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