More and more often these days, you see businesses advertising themselves as “dynamic!” “exciting!” and “unpredictable!” There are even some banks who make it part of their marketing strategy to say how they’re a bit different and quirky. It’s gotten to the stage where we say the same of our politicians. “Yeah, there’s no doubt he/she gets things done … but I’d like someone a bit more entertaining”.
Never has there been a clearer case of “be careful what you wish for.” If you’re looking for entertainment, there are countless TV channels, films, and streaming services. If you want unpredictability from your bank, your priorities are just wrong. That’s not a matter of opinion. They’re wrong. You expect one thing of your bank—that you put money in and they make sure it’s still there when you want it again. It’s not a circus; it’s a financial institution.
If the recent financial crisis taught us anything, it is surely that too much unpredictability is a bad thing. High-risk banking cost people their jobs and put whole economies into recession. So, particularly in the early days of your business, keeping the “excitement” for launch events is wise. There’s a time and a place for outside-the-box thinking.
Boring But Efficient #1: Data Management
You may be one of the growing numbers of people who has seen their bank details shared with the world thanks to a data leak. And if you thought: “I wish they’d focused more on keeping their servers secure, and less on quirky banter in their ads,” you’re only human.
Keeping data secure is essential to customer confidence. It may not be the most exciting decision you make, but colocation pricing could be your wisest investment. It gives you, and your clients, protection against cyber crime and accidental loss.
Boring But Efficient #2: Legal Intricacies
You may be brilliantly creative and have five million-dollar ideas before breakfast each day. That’s excellent and will stand you in good stead. It will impress your customers and your investors. But it might not impress your lawyers, so you’ll need to make sure all your ideas are legally above board.
This doesn’t just mean you can’t open up a vodka bar in your car dealership. You also need to make sure that you’re not plagiarizing another idea or operating outside of state or federal legislation in any way. It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with the laws; they still apply to you. Get sound legal advice before launching a business.
Boring But Efficient #3: Risk Management
Sometimes, creatives have a tendency to see the world like a toddler on a sugar high. It’s this infectious enthusiasm that drives a lot of the best businesses and makes a company fun to work for. But it can also be a risky way to work. And, although it sounds like the worst superhero title ever, a risk manager is often essential.
If you’ve ever asked the question “Why can’t we…” before unveiling an idea, the risk management specialist is the person who tells you why you can’t. You may end up hating them, but they may end up saving your business. They can be the difference between an idea that makes you a million dollars and a personal injury class-action. Be nice to them. It’s not always fun crushing dreams.
If done right, a business can be both fun and efficient. But if there’s a risk that you’re going to get dragged too far from the latter by the former, you need to know how to keep it workable. Predictability isn’t boring – sometimes it’s exactly what you need.