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.

One Response to "New year affords new opportunity to meet needs"

  1. Tony   January 15, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I am not a subscriber to your publication but I do read it occasionally in an office waiting room or when my wife brings it home from work. I have lived in Mesa county for many years and while not a business owner, I am a resident and someone with local business investments. I would most certainly enjoy reading an intelligent, well informed local business publication more regularly. Unfortunately there isn’t one.

    As a newcomer to the grand valley I remember reading The Business Times and thinking what a great resource for someone like me who is new to the area and considering starting a new business of my own. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for me to realize that your paper’s rigidity and righteousness in its political views was not only a turn off to me as a reader but was also a real detriment to your ability to cover the local business community or business in general, in any sort of meaningful way. I can simply point to the other three columns on this opinion page to make my point. All written from the same far right political view, ignoring the complexity of the subject matter being discussed and ridiculing or dismissing any other views, ideas or opinions that are not the writer’s own.

    So what do I need as a reader? How about a publication that recognizes that its readers come from a multitude of backgrounds and experiences that may have resulted in somewhat different political and business philosophies. How about a publication that isn’t afraid to explore new and different ways of succeeding in this brave new world of business that we face today. How about a publication that understands that simply blaming government and regulation and environmentalists for every problem that comes along is not just ignorant, not just juvenile, it’s lazy. It’s also the kind of thinking that can discourage new businesses from relocating here. It’s the kind of thinking that today’s bright young entrepreneurs have left behind. And it’s the kind of thinking that can hold both a business and a community back.

    At 50 plus years of age I am well past thinking that anyone or any group has all the answers. But I do believe that most of the problems we face today have viable solutions. Often times more than one. But unless you keep an open mind they will mostly pass you by.

    Good luck in 2015!