Opinion

Business language that aids – and hinders your business

5 min read

05 August 2019

Whilst there are sayings in business that are a waste of time, it's the good ones like 'pivot' or 'disruptor' you should be adopting to increase your chances of success.

I’ve never been one for business management speak or jargon. I don’t ‘run things up the flagpole’ or try a little ‘blue sky thinking’ and have definitely never taken part in a ‘thought shower’.

But a couple of business terms I don’t mind, because they actually mean something, is ‘pivot’ and ‘disruptors’.

These are the words that can actually mean the difference between success and failure for some businesses while for others it can provide a significant boost to revenue and growth.

Greggs have written ‘innovation’ into their vocabulary book

The baker renowned for its pasties, pies and pastries has carved out a pretty good position in the market for itself.

If you think about it, there aren’t many other national chains of high street bakeries that spring to mind as easily as Greggs – and I know it has an almost cult following in parts of the North!

But like all the best businesses, it has never rested on its laurels and has consistently come up with innovative ideas, be they food-based or through clever marketing.

Nothing says this more than its most recent invention, the vegan sausage roll, which has helped drive a 58%  half-year profit rise, with underlying pre-tax profits hitting a tasty £40.6m.

For some firms in the meat snack industry, the rise of veganism might have been seen as a major threat to their businesses, but Greggs hasn’t shied away from it, they have embraced it.

And the consistent good sales over the past six months prove that the product is good quality as they appear to have survived the gimmick bounce of the first few weeks, when everyone was talking about Greggs going vegan, making it a staple part of its menu.

It’ll also have helped its sales of black coffees to vegans who wouldn’t have previously stepped across Greggs’ threshold before!

To pivot a business, or indeed to be a disruptor, you don’t have to come up with the best new idea, you just have to do things differently and better.

Look at HOW FAR Amazon and Netflix have come through disruption

After all, Amazon started out as a bookseller and part of Netflix’s original business was sending out rental DVD movies in the post. Neither of these companies stuck to their original idea, they pivoted, diversified and, ultimately grew.

But it’s not just about the huge tech firms. SMEs have to think in the same way. Otherwise, it can quite simply be a case of evolve or die.

However, by their very nature, SMEs should be agile enough to adapt to changing markets to find ways, like Greggs, to attract new customers based on their core services.

At the same time, in my view, a business can be a ‘disruptor’ without coming up with a business that no one has thought of before. To be a disruptor a business has to do it better than their competitors by a country mile.

I’m proud to say Pimlico falls into that bracket, as the general reputation of plumbers back in the 70s and 80s was of dodgy cowboys in dirty, battered transit vans who were untrustworthy.

We live by the rules of positive business language at Pimlico

We smashed that perception into tiny pieces and continue to set the standard for high-quality services levels, reliability and value for money. Plus, our engineers are always well presented and their vans gleaming!

And we haven’t stood still either. We have pivoted to become more than just plumbers, delivering our customers everything from roofing and electrics to carpentry and building, all to the same Pimlico standard.

SMEs have to consistently look at their markets and how customer demands are changing. Then by apply some clever thinking, whether it’s inside or outside the proverbial box, they will have a better chance of success.