I rarely follow the advice of so called “business gurus”, perhaps I should. But I do read Seth Godin’s blog. If you have never heard of Seth, he is the author of several best selling business books in the USA. And he still inspires me today. He recently remarked on this blog that to grow a business you need three elements:
1. A group of possible customers you can identify and reach
2. A group with a problem they want to solve using your solution
3. A group with the desire and ability to spend money to solve that problem
Item 3 is particularly interesting for energy professionals – How can the energy industry persuade new customers to part with their hard earned money to lower their operating costs and lower their carbon footprint.
Potential customers offer a range of reasons not to buy, ranging from the obvious to to the sublime, and the often cited cost is just one obstacle. I sure this is a question is vexing the minds of many. Perhaps the energy industry should offer more guarantees – a cost saving guarantee, using the Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) model. However, an EPC is not a silver bullet solution, it is not for everyone, and some facilities can’t take advantage of EPC’s due to the high transaction cost.
As living standards here in Asia has increased, the demand for electricity has sky rocketed, mainly generated by from coal burning, with areas of south China and PRD region consistently suffered power shortages over the last few years is evidence of that. However, it is often difficult to gain sufficient traction for big issues let me give you an example, a recent report stated that many emanate financial experts predicted the financial crisis but the problem was too hard for government to take preventative action, same applies to climate change. It is hard for organisations to deal with big issues period.
I think energy professionals need to help, we need to help advise and educate businesses, and stakeholders to create a demand before thinking about the sale.