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For Small Business Owners and Leaders
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s like a writer facing writer’s block. One of the most difficult parts of developing a strategic plan can simply be getting started. You are staring at a blank page, an empty whiteboard, a clean flipchart, a team meeting with a bunch of staring faces. OK, where do we start? You may not know how to take that first step. It’s not an unusual problem to have. Here are a few ideas for getting the ball rolling.
I come across it all the time. A business wants (needs!) to outline their strategic direction. They have every intention of doing it. They know that recommitting themselves to their fundamental mission and defining a long-term vision will be impactful to the success of their business. They recognize how beneficial thinking through their long-term goals and objectives are. They want the confidence and clarity that a strategic plan can provide. There’s only one problem, though. Where do they find the time when they have a business to run? How do you keep strategic plan development moving along? Well, I have a few ideas to share.
As I observed this guy following the painted walkway lines during a very early-morning walk through an empty parking garage it got me to thinking about how often we as business owners may be blindly following rules that may be limiting us and which really have no positive impact on us. We need to know which rules make sense and when we should live “outside the lines”.
Most of us business leaders want our businesses to grow. And so many of us are just not sure where that great idea will come from? Will it drop from the sky or from the steam in our shower? More often than not, great ideas are right there in front of us…if we just take the time to see them and act on them.
I am a believer that small things are often indicative of larger ones. And that leaders must be on the lookout for behaviors that can be detrimental to the growth of their businesses. Often it’s the small things that make that critical difference. Especially as a small business. In this post, I suggest that you take a few simple actions that can help you win in the marketplace.