IDiscover Journal

A Blog For

For Small Business Owners and Leaders

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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Preparing Your Organization for Tough Times

A struggling economy. Troubles in your industry. Challenging times in your target market. At some point or another our organizations will probably face difficult times. (I would argue that for many organizations, now might just be such a time.) Your job as a leader is to keep your head and manage through is. Better yet, you should be prepared for it. One critical place to begin is to focus on cash management. So, what are some ways to go about that? Here are a few suggestions that you should be thinking about to strengthen your organization’s cash position.

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The Number ONE Thing You Can Do This Year to Energize Your Team

After working with and observing numerous corporate and nonprofit organizations over the years I have come to believe that one of the most impactful things we can do as leaders is to work with our teams to define a strategic path toward a bright future…together. Get a strategic plan in place this year and you will be making great strides toward your employees’ satisfaction and your organization’s future growth.

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Doing Customer Feedback Right

Do you have customer feedback on the agenda for 2019? (Hint: you should. Hint number two: It should be on your list every year.). Having conducted tons of customer feedback studies over the years, I’ve identified several things that I think can make or break a study. In this post I share some thoughts with you about how to make the most of your customer feedback efforts.

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These 7 Traits Make A Great Leader

Leadership isn’t always the things we think of from TV or the movies. The best leader isn’t always the most alpha person in the room. Over the years I’ve seen plenty of leaders that have the characteristics that we typically think of as “leadership traits”. And you know what? More often than not those leaders lead their organizations right into the ground. So, what does makes a really good leader? In my opinion, there seven key traits that the most talented leaders seem to have in common. Here they are.

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Long-Term Strategy, Short-Term Action

Strategy involves thinking long-term so you can act short-term…with a purpose. The actions we take today to build our businesses must be aligned with our long-term goals. So, obviously, we have to know what those long-term goals are and commit ourselves toward achieving them.

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Involve Customers In Your Product/Service Design

Recently I was talking with some nonprofit executives about developing and launching some new programming. The more we talked the more I became convinced that their brainstorming and planning for these new services lacked one important thing. True customer input. It got me to thinking how much more on-point products and services could be if we simply got customers involved early – and had their involvement throughout the process. This post includes some ideas about how to make it happen.

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