Ease of Doing Business: Do You Know What’s Driving Your Customers Away?
Updated: May 14
Ease of Doing Business: There is quite a lot written about this at the macroeconomic level. The World Bank measures Ease of Doing Business for 190 countries based on detailed characteristics including how hard it is to start a new business, labor market regulations, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, trading across borders, paying taxes, and enforcing contracts.
This follows the whole lifecycle of a business in each of these countries:
Source: World Bank “Doing Business 2019” Report, 16th Edition, The World Bank Group
It struck us when we looked at this that there are undeniable parallels here to the individual firm and how we look at Ease of Doing Business at the microeconomic level—from the firm perspective and how it relates to the firm’s customers.
Starting a business roughly equates to initiating the relationship between buyer and seller. Getting a location translates to establishing the basic infrastructure for doing business together (how the goods or services will flow). Accessing finance means establishing commercial terms and putting contracts in place. Dealing with day-to-day operations is pretty much just like it sounds: it’s all about transactions and interactions. Lastly, operating in a secure business environment is about dealing with issues and assuring business continuity.
Let’s look at the typical Ease of Doing Business drivers for the firm and organize them this same way:
Time and again, as Curtis and I have spoken to or worked with clients, we see these same drivers. In my experience as chief customer officer at Oracle for 11 years, when we made big improvements in contracting, relationship management (specifically account management), and issue resolution, we made a substantial difference for our customers. Meaning, those tend to be the big levers from a customer perspective.
While we do see a high degree of consistency in what impacts customers, there’s every possibility we are missing something. We’d like your input on what you are experiencing in this one-question survey. Are there Ease of Doing Business drivers we’ve missed in the above list? How would YOU prioritize these? Which ones have the greatest customer impact?
These drivers are the center of our methodology in working with organizations to make them easier to do business with. We’ve worked with and interviewed scores of executives who’ve asked for help in becoming easier to do business with—so we’ve created an Ease of Doing Business Accelerator for top executives and 3-4 members of your cross-functional team to create a specific action plan for YOUR challenges. Join our upcoming session on November 13-14 in Seattle, where we will:
Define and prioritize ease of doing business challenges
Link each of the Ease of Doing Business drivers to the operational and financial metrics most essential to your CEO
Develop an action plan: specific initiatives to address the top priority Ease of Doing Business challenges
Create a process for root cause/corrective actions to address Ease of Doing Business needs by customer segment on an ongoing basis
The World Bank's objective is to "drive inclusive, sustainable economic growth.” While we of course want the same thing, our goals are a little simpler—and arguably more achievable. We want to help you understand your Ease of Doing Business drivers and create an action plan that will create greater value for your customers and for you.
We hope to see you in November!
All the best,
Jeb Dasteel, former CCO, Oracle
Curtis Bingham, founder and CEO, CCO Council