Business vs Government
Recent happenings have again reminded me just how different good business owners and government representatives each respond to challenging situations.
Right now, here in Orange, we're contending with a severe drought and just last week we heard that many local small businesses are experiencing a very slow period of trading with many having already or preparing to reduce their expenses which could include jobs cuts.
I think it's fair to say that both those require urgent, if not immediate action, that is if we want to stem the tide or slow down or reverse the downhill trend.
Faced with both these challenges, and with no relief in sight in the short term, a good business owner would take immediate steps to put in place things that would stop or slow any foreseen decline, or impending danger. This business owner would first identify the core or immediate need then determine what steps should be taken to relieve or solve that immediate need, and then concept a plan or initiatives to address that core need. The key word here is "immediate". This business owner would not just cross his fingers and hope, or sit on his hands, or set in place initiatives that are onerous or too hard to comply with or come up with solutions where any possible results will not be seen until long into the future. Those things are important, but they won't address any immediate need.
A government on the other hand, often does exactly this.
Current examples include the Federal Government's response to the drought. First it took them what appeared an eternity to get the message, and then when they did, they offered farmers with no money, the opportunity to go into further debt, and they offered relief which would be available months from now, and then we heard that just filling out the paperwork for assistance was extremely onerous and beyond many farmer's academic abilities. In the meantime, average people everywhere, have not let details get in the way, they've just got in and done what needed to be done. Struggling farmers are now getting genuine help, exactly what they need right now, and it's coming from ordinary people.
It's not just Federal and State Governments that operate this way, local governments are no different. Often, things we need now, are still years away. Take the business slowdown in Orange.
Like I've said so many times before, when any business suffers a slowdown, be it a retail shop, a Shopping Centre, a City like Orange or even a Country like Australia, the crucial ingredient is customers. There are 20 million potential customers across Australia and a world full of potential visitors to Australia. They won't come to your business, your Shopping Centre, your City or our Country unless we go after them. That's the challenge, do this well and you'll stay ahead of the pack.
Our Council is certainly talking the right talk with things like the CBD upgrade, the Mountain Bike facility on Mount Canobolas, the new sporting arena and several other things but like I said earlier, our need is now, and we need initiatives in place right now that will bring people to Orange in their droves, week after week, year after year.
Food for thought…..