Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

Five Things To Focus On For 2018

At the beginning of every year I put together a video with what I feel are the most important things to focus on for business success in the coming year. For 2018 I have five major things that I believe will be extremely important for you and your business. I have also added the video from 2017 for you to view. There are some very powerful ideas in these two videos, things that I know will help you as a professional and your business.

Also, please share this blog with your network, I’ve dedicated my life to helping businesses and people be more successful, so I want to get these ideas in front of as many people as possible.

Thank you very much and I hope that 2018 is an absolutely wonderful year for you and your organization.



  1. Hello John
    Fantastic video, I totally agree with you on the trust issues, more than ever, trust can only be accomplished by those companies and individuals that have a strong set of values and understand how important it is to constantly remind the staff that trust will keep you ahead of the competition. Your example of the restaurant and swimming pool are so true, we are competing against industries or products that we never thought would challenge us. I am going to make sure my staff watches your video.
    John, have a great 2018, and thank you for sharing your knowledge
    Alex Beauroyre

  2. Thank you for your insights John.

    Your thoughts about needing to be the one leading change in your industry were particularly impactful to me in my business … the next day I read an interview with Canon Chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai whose comments closely reflected your perspective, saying “Innovation is steadily advancing, and it has become difficult to put out products that are ahead of the competition, even if by just a little. This is now an era when latecomer manufacturers stand to gain. Compared with the past, even I feel mounting tensions.” [quoted from ]

    It was oddly reassuring to hear that some of the world’s largest companies are facing the same challenges as little Mom & Pop businesses like mine.

    In Canon’s industry, competition appears to be primarily focused on the engineering specifications of the products — megapixels, frames-per-second, etc. It strikes me that one of the areas Canon could lead change to distinguish itself from competitors is through a new way of interacting with customers to provide the outstanding customer service experience you speak about.

    But it’s not obvious to me how they could do this. The companies in their industry have very little direct interaction with customers since most products are purchased through distributors like B&H Photo, Amazon, etc. Most of the direct interaction is when a repair needs to happen, and to a lesser extent there is interaction on internet forums between customers and company representatives.

    The other ways I’ve seen camera companies interact with their customers are:
    – trade shows
    – demo days at distributors
    – educational resources on their site
    – feature stories on customer success stories which promote the “hero” in the everyman
    – sponsorship of events (sporting and others)

    Have you seen examples of companies in other industries who have done an outstanding job of providing a superior customer experience in these conditions? Which of their activities seems like the most effective lever for increasing customer engagement and satisfaction?

    • John, thanks for taking time to ask such a thoughtful question. As I think about products that are sold through general merchandise stores or dealers, a few that come to mind would be: Harley-Davidson – with their HOG (Harley Owners Group) program, run through the manufacturer, but pushed out through the dealerships…actually one of the main areas of profit for the company. Also, I think about Nike shoes, distributed in stores across the world, but you can interact with Nike through the new Internet of Things sensors put in their clothes and shoes. I think North Face does a good job of creating a tribe of loyal customers and interacting with them closely. Go Pro would be another company with a great customer service experience and a strong loyal following. Fit Bit would be another one – you buy one at Best Buy – but you create a relationship with the company through their app and other things they do to interact with their customers. With so many products now being commoditized, where there are multiple options that are very similar, I think that going forward only the companies that create a strong bond with their customers, regardless of what channel they sell through, will be the ones that are successful in the long term.

      Thanks again for such a great question John, I appreciate your input

  3. SPOT ON! Loved this video! I preach this daily to focus on the customer, focus on the every little thing that needs to be done consistently to be successful in your industry. Thanks for sharing!