The last fifty years in business have seen the transformation from pencil and ledger to spreadsheet, the secretarial pool typing letters to email, research in the library replaced by internet services. Every process can be done exponentially better, faster, and cheaper than half a century ago.
With the incredible increase in productivity over this period, it is a wonder some believe that more increases in office productivity will fix the central issues we face. In our business, as in every business, cost pressures continually push us to do more with less.
It is the conceit of every industry that margin pressure is something that uniquely affects it. In fact, the whole history of human enterprise can be summed up in two words: shrinking margins. The first supermarkets had lower margins than the butcher, the baker and the dairy they replaced. The Sears catalogue had lower margins than the general store. Charles Schwab had lower margins than E.F. Hutton.
The way we see our work, honesty and competence are the entry requirements to the business arena. Beyond that, the productivity issues do not center around software and systems, but people and connections:
1. Do we have the empathy to put ourselves in your shoes and understand your heartfelt objectives, to learn what you can tell us about your needs and situation?
2. Do we have the creativity to collaborate with you on strategies and tactics that may get you closer to where you want to go, in light of all factors: market, economic, tax, everything?
3. Do we have the ability to communicate what you need to know in order to work effectively toward your goals?
‘Relationship’ is the word that sums up these points. Relationships are at the heart of whatever past success we’ve had with you, and whatever exciting future we may build. You, the best clients in the world, play a starring role.
In this view, the key technologies are not how fast some back-office process gets done nor the colors in the pie chart nor pages of dense calculations of statistical history. The key technologies are those things that enable you and us to communicate. When we get basic information to all of you at once, our one-on-one talks can start at a higher level and go farther.
Blog posts at 228Main.com, social media, videos, and our email newsletter are the ways we talk to everybody at once. (None of these existed fifty years ago!) Emails, phone calls, and meetings let us go one-on-one to work on your issues. We have worked diligently to master the technology that most matters to our mutual success: communications.
Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email us or call.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.