IDiscover Journal

A Blog For

For Small Business Owners and Leaders

Could These Be Stopping Your Business Growth?

Many organizations say they want to grow, but their actions show something different. There are a number of things that seem to be getting in the way of their growth. It’s important for you as a business leader be honest with yourself and identify if any of these (or more than one) might be a roadblock getting in the way of your business’s growth. This post will look at these issues and offer some solutions to help you get past them.

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Avoiding Unforced Survey Errors

A recent survey experience from a major chain restaurant reminded me how easy it is to field a survey that has errors and reduces the chances that you will get good info. In this post, I suggest ways to avoid these simple, unforced errors.

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Here’s What’s Stopping You From Getting Actionable Market Research

I probably don’t need to tell you, it is not uncommon for market and/or customer research to result in uninformative or somewhat random data or information that is unactionable. Why? Most often it is because we aren’t asking the right questions. We aren’t asking questions that are truly important to the customer relationship. This post will describe how to ask the most informative questions.

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What’s Your 365?

Re-watching one of my all-time favorite TV series – The West Wing gave me some thoughts about how we run our businesses. We often get into a situation where we are managing what comes up. Getting along. And (if we were being honest with ourselves) being mostly reactive and certainly uninspiring. But what if we got our organizations focused on some big, bold, impactful goals for the next 365 days?

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A Business Plan or a Strategic Plan?

When people think about planning for their organization, they most often think “Business Plan -> Startup”, “Strategic Plan -> Established Company”. And in many ways that is true; but not exclusively and not necessarily for the reasons they think. It’s not so much a “new company” vs. “mature company” thing as it is a “Who’s my target audience?” thing. The decision depends on what you are trying to communicate and to whom. They are definitely not the same or interchangeable. Know your purpose and you will know which plan to build at a given time. So which one do you need? The truth is, you need both – or a hybrid.

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Market Intelligence MUST Be a Fundamental Part of Your Strategic Plan

Not too long ago I was helping a client with their strategic plan. They told me they had a really good handle on customer/market knowledge. And I made the mistake of taking them at their word – without proof. As we moved along the process, it became clear that they didn’t. And it really limited our success. I won’t make that mistake again! Your strategic plan must have market intelligence as its foundation. Don’t skip it. Don’t skimp on it. And don’t ignore it. Internalize it as a core principle of your organization. Make market intelligence a central part of your strategic planning process.

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The Commitment Needed For A Strategic Plan

und. Yes, of course we need guide for our future. The clarity that will come from developing and implementing a strategic plan will be invaluable to our team. And then….nothing. Or a half-hearted attempt to create one ensues and peters out. The truth is that while the organization could greatly benefit from having a well-developed strategic plan, the effort needed to create one is often greater than expected. And that’s where things go wrong. There are some important elements that need to be in place before you jump into building a strategic plan.

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No, You’re Not Done Yet

Too often an organization does a customer feedback project to hear and understand what customers think. What we’ve observed is that almost all the time that organization fails to finish the entire project by “closing the loop” with the customers. This can make a big difference in your relationships with customers. This post will tap about how to “finish strong”.

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Your Success Is Driven By Who You Hire

You can strategize all you want. You can design all the best customer experiences. You can develop a creative, fun, engaging brand identity. But one minute with the wrong customer-facing employee will make that all come tumbling down. Don’t let that happen to you. Hire the right people to deliver your brand to your customers in just the right way. And, no, that isn’t always very easy to do.

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