Recently, I was honoured that Laybuy was profiled in two major business news publications in the same week – City A.M. in the UK, and the National Business Review in New Zealand. Aside from the obvious buzz of being featured in two prestigious publications, there’s another benefit to reading back articles like these once they are published – it allows you to reflect on the journey you’ve been on and to learn from it.
One thing that struck me as I read both articles is the importance of relying on gut instincts to make decisions. Trusting our instincts has most definitely helped us to get Laybuy where it is today.
Now not for one second am I suggesting that a successful business strategy is simply to fly by the seat of your pants. What I’m saying is that there are times when you should trust your instinct that implementing that change, idea or innovation is the right thing to do – even if not necessarily the easiest.
Implementing change and ideas is rarely the smoothest path to take. It takes guts, commitment and hard work to make a change for the better in business. So, here’s my two cents on the times when you should (and shouldn’t) let your instinct be your guide.
- If it’s broke, fix it
It sounds so simple – but if something is broken and your instinct is to fix it, follow that instinct. The best ideas are those that work to solve an existing problem or challenge – it’s not called a ‘lightbulb moment’ for nothing.
Laybuy, for example, was born out of the problem that only two ways to make payment for purchases existed, neither of which were ideal for bigger ticket items. You had upfront payment (only possible if you’ve got the cash there and then) or credit card (often interest laden and always risky in terms of the potential for debt spiralling).
We launched Laybuy to solve this problem, allowing people to spread the cost of high price purchases over six weekly interest-free instalments. So far, our instinct that there was a gap in the market for this kind of product has proven to be the right one.
- Passion or bust
Another way to test whether your instinct is worth following is simply by assessing how passionate you feel. Having worked in retail for the majority of my career, I empathise with the constant battle faced by retailers to meet targets and turn profits. As a father of two sons in their 20s, I sympathise with a generation of people who have felt that their only options are to go without or take on risky debt.
It’s the passion for these two issues that gets me and my family (who also work in the Laybuy business) up every morning. If the passion is there, the successes shine one hundred times brighter than the challenges ever will.
- Knowledge is power
Annoying I know – but alongside the passion needs to be the knowledge. It’s not enough to be passionate about offering all-inclusive holidays to the moon, if you don’t have a strong knowledge of aerospace engineering.
This is, of course, an extreme example, but it is really important that you follow your passions and instincts in an informed manner. You might, for example, feel that your business could benefit from a new social media strategy – and given that you know your own company, your instinct is almost definitely right. Just make sure you work with an expert if you don’t know your hashtags from your GIFs.
- Better no devil at all
If an external force is causing a problem in your business – for example a supplier, or partner then your instinct that there is a better relationship to be found is correct.
It is really important in business to find the right fit with the people you work with, and fear of the unknown is not a good enough reason to ignore your instinct. At Laybuy, all of our partnerships from suppliers to retailers are fundamental to our success. Compromising on the quality of partnerships simply isn’t an option, so follow your gut and find the right collaborations for your company.
Your instinct is a great asset when filtered and used smartly. Never ignore your gut – just give it some assistance from your heart and your head.