New year affords new opportunity to meet needs

A new year almost always brings an opportunity for a fresh start and  renewed ambition to do things better.

In business, that usually boils down to providing customers better products and services faster and at lower cost than competitors. Part of the process must include listening to customers to determine what they actually need and then meeting that need. After all, it does little good to offer the latest and greatest if nobody actually wants what you’re selling.

Just like the businesses that belong to the group, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce invariably starts out the new year with a reassessment of the services and resources it provides and how well they match with members needs. Jeff Franklin, the new chairman of the chamber board of directors, personifies this approach in describing what he considers his role for the coming year: listen to members, determine their needs and then meet those needs. It’s a role with which Franklin is familiar as market president of Bank of Colorado.

The process will take on a more structured approach in what the chamber plans as the resumption of a program aptly called Listening to Business. Under the program, business owners participate in in-depth interviews to identify barriers to growth and other problems they encounter.

The new year offers a good time to join the proverbial club.

As an advertiser or reader, what do you need from the Business Times?

While business journals traditionally gather and report the relevant news to readers, communication isn’t necessarily a one-way street. That’s especially true as Web sites and e-mail make the dialogue more convenient than ever.

Good publications don’t exist in a vacuum. They respond to the needs of advertisers and readers. They provide what’s needed.

So what do you need?

Is there additional news coverage that would help keep you informed about local business developments? Are there features that would be interesting or useful? Is there advice that would make your jobs a little easier?

It’s equally important to ask what you don’t need. With limited time to produce content and limited space in which to publish it, would time and space be better devoted to something else?

What’s good? What isn’t? What’s needed? What isn’t?

Let us know. Send us an e-mail. Comment online on the Business Times Web site at www.thebusinesstimes.com. You could even write an old-fashioned letter to the editor if you’d like. Your feedback, both positive and negative, is valued and will be carefully considered.

Good publications are the result of not only the efforts of their staffs, but also collaborative efforts involving advertisers and readers.

Like any other good business, we want to listen to our customers, find out what they need and then meet those needs.

It’s a new year. Please help us to do so.

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