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Are you a Whinger or a Winner? by Roger Harrop

There is no question – the prospects for the economies of the UK and the rest of Europe are not good BUT there are many sectors that have thrived and continue to thrive throughout the last 3 years.

You may have seen my, not exhaustive, list of 31 of these sectors and companies that I show in my workshops and master classes – all of which have grown continuously throughout the last three years.

Roger Harrop

Roger Harrop

Time after time I am meeting with small, medium and large businesses in the UK that are doing well and continue to do well – often despite the sector they’re in. I recently ran a master class for a group of estate agents, for example, that if you believe the newspapers should really be in trouble, but they are thriving – and plan to do even better. I know of an advertising agency that has just had their best 3 years in the 20 they have been in business – despite being in a sector that classically should have been severely hit in recent times. Amongst the professions also I am meeting with a few – lawyers, architects and accountants – that are doing really well. This is despite the fact that there are others that have recently gone to the wall.

What I see, though, is that there is however, is a common theme to all these companies that are winning.

Very simply, they have “got their act together” and focused back on the basics of the business – any business. They have, for example, gone out and sought customers who have money to spend – a fundamental basic of business that we so often ignore! If their traditional customers have no money then they have rather targeted the ones that have.

Surely this is just common sense – you don’t need an MBA or vast experience to work it out!

I find that I am now starting to lose patience with the whingers – those that are blaming the recession, the banks, the Government, exchange rates – indeed just about anyone but themselves – for the failure of their businesses to grow and thrive. Some of the professions, in particular, seem to believe that it’s ‘beneath them’ to get out there and prospect for customers. My view is that prospecting for customers is an absolute fundamental of any business. Indeed it is easy to argue that if your market share is below, say, 80% then you have such headroom to grow that only reason for a lack of success is simply your inability to generate sufficient enquiries.

I fear that refusal engage in prospecting for business will be the epitaph for many companies.

I am just back from speaking and running Masterclasses in two thriving markets overseas which I had not worked in before – Qatar and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is listed in the, so called, “Next 11” of thriving economies (following on the ‘BRICS’) and I was lucky enough to present to a small “Thought Leaders” event in Dhaka where there were a dozen or so of the top business leaders . They were a mixture of Country Managers for major multinationals and locally-owned businesses and to quote one of them “You simply can’t do anything wrong here – everywhere is booming”.  This is from basic household products through to the needs of a rapidly growing middle class and a thriving export business.

I will be back to Dhaka this year – will you?

I then spent four days in Qatar – the richest nation in the world by GDP/head and with a Government investment programme over the next four years of a staggering $225bn! The highly respected Al Jazeera news network is based in Qatar and it is, of course, where the 2022 FIFA soccer world cup will be held.

I was privileged to have the highly impressive top team of one of the major family businesses in my Masterclass and I’m back at the end of this month for more.

Will you join me?

I strongly believe that never before has the health and prosperity of businesses, large and small, their employees, their shareholders and all stakeholders been so dependant upon those in charge taking it upon themselves to be winners rather than whingers.

There are abundant opportunities out there for us all – but never again can we rely on customers finding us rather than us finding them.

Are you a whinger or a winner?

© 2012 Roger Harrop Associates

About the Author

Roger Harrop FPSA is an International Speaker who inspires and entertains his audiences with his acclaimed Staying in the Helicopter® series. Over 10000 CEOs. business owners, Managers and others have achieved transformational change through his thought provoking and entertaining speeches and workshops laced with real-life stories, anecdotes and humour.

He is a former CEO of a highly successful high tech multi-national publicly quoted company, consultant, author, mentor and leadership tutor. He is Past President of the Professional Speakers Association, a Chartered Engineer and a Liveryman with The Worshipful Company of Marketors.

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