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That’s a pretty ballsy thing to do…

That’s a pretty ballsy thing to do…

In business it’s often having the courage to ask the tough questions… how many times have you said, “I wish I knew; I could have done something about it” or “I would have done that; if I only knew”… hindsight is such a wonderful thing!

Being the owner or senior manager in a business, is often said to be a very lonely place. Often we’re walking side by side these business leaders through a mind field of distraction, challenges and opportunities, whilst being entrusted with information and future direction, no one else knows. I now feel its time for me to share this same level of trust and transparency with you.

I walk in your shoes every day and I bring to the table, all that I know. But I don’t know, what I don’t know. So just like our clients across all categories in small to medium business, we also need to maintain and realign our competitive advantage.

A huge big thank you to everyone who took the time to give their feedback to “Think Actual”. For those who haven’t heard of Think Actual, they are a company that takes a different approach to the science of behavioral analytics by allowing you to take an entire database of customers or employees and turn them into an ‘ enhanced focus group’. They eliminate all the biases of traditional research and help business owners too not only understand what customers think, but most importantly the “why”. (When I was first introduced to the company earlier this year I was impressed with their approach and methodology, and thought if our clients could have this depth of customer understanding, imagine what we could help them achieve. But I wanted to see how good it really was for myself first, before I made any recommendations.) Think Actual analyse the shared context of the language we use to describe our thoughts and feelings to flesh out what drives the emotional connection to a business, and then help build the strategy to deliver on this new found knowledge. The result is an incredibly accurate and reliable indicator of what a business needs to do to gain a competitive advantage, drive customer satisfaction or adopt a strategic direction.

We chose to ask our clients two simple questions – in a few words or phrases how would you describe your experience at JFM, and how can JFM better support you in the future. You all answered anonymously so I don’t know who responded. What I do know is that the analysis of your response has given us an unbelievable insight and depth of understanding about what you need from us and how we can add value to your business.

Our conversations have started to change. The feeling that comes from not just wondering, or having a hunch, but knowing what our clients think, what they want and why is so empowering. There will be concepts we haven’t even dreamt of yet or opportunities we haven’t considered but the sense of purpose is awesome.

Many maybe thinking, how confidential were my thoughts with Think Actual? Just as confidential as your relationship with JFM itself; I don’t know who responded, and I don’t know exactly what people said, but I can be 99% certain of the words and phrases business owners and managers collectively use, to describe their experience and why they would choose JFM in the future.

Understanding “Why” is so vitally important to me personally as a business owner. If I don’t actually understand what’s special about our relationships and what’s important to business leaders in the future, it will be good luck rather than good management, that we’re in a position to be proactive and consistently delivering the magic and brand equity, that’s so important in todays business context.

What could it mean for you in the future? You might notice subtle changes in our approach to business and our communication because we now have a deeper understanding of our purpose. It’s like when you meet someone for the very first time, and you walk away energized and on cloud nine, but you can’t put your finger on what exactly it is… could it be – you’re on the same page, walking side by side and they actually, just get you?

We need to be proactive, present ideas and opportunities, and communicate this in a really meaningful way. Just so we don’t have any awkward moments in conversation, we will never know who replied to our customer survey and who said what. The directors of Think Actual, who have offices in Auckland, Queenstown and Melbourne, confidentially hold all data.

Thank you, for helping us to grow. We look forward to being the professional, helpful friend in business you need us to be.



If you would like to know more about how JFM and Think Actual can collaborate to help you gain valuable customer insight and competitive advantage, chat to me direct on 027 292 5004 or 03 308 6272. I’m more than happy to share our journey, with you.