By Robert Craven, MD of The Directors' Centre

Most businesses see themselves as a producer, a technician.

When company owners or managers introduce themselves, they say things like: 'We are a pizza restaurant; we make pizzas' or 'We are a video production company; we make videos'.

BUT... What problem are you solving? (What's the real problem?)

Sometimes you need to change how you see yourself — change the perception that you are using to look at the world.

To understand the customer's experience and to take advantage of it, redefine yourself as a problem-solver!

Most businesses end up looking at themselves through the wrong end of the telescope; you need to see your business through the customers' eyes — what problem are you solving? So, to get to the heart of what your business does, you need to redefine yourself.

My recent experience with a large UK electrical retailer left me feeling angry because they were only interested in one thing and that was getting as much money off me as possible with scant regard for my needs or wants! The "We Don't Need To Care" School of Retailing!

So, ask yourself:

• Why do people come to your business?

• Why do people buy your product/service?

• Why do they buy it from you?

• What problems do they have that you are trying to solve?

• What would their ideal solution be? (What should they be saying, thinking and doing as a result of visiting your business?)

• What is your ideal solution? (What should they be saying, thinking and doing as a result of visiting your business?)

• For a moment, forget about the need to make a sale… If you use the mindset of a problem-solver, what else could you be doing to make life easier for your customer?


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