Do you know your customers well enough?

A major challenge for both the small and medium-sized business is that it does not have access to the same sources of information than big companies do. Simply not knowing is often the main reason for not acting or not seeing results on the business development front.

The problem is even worse when the customer is not a single individual, such as a shopper in a retailer, but another business (business to business sales). It is easier asking an individual why they are buying a brand of cereals than getting the same information from a company where many people are involved in a purchase decision. 

But as a growing business, youve got to open the taps on a constant flow of market information, no matter the industry you are in. Simply sitting in your office (or on your cellphone) and hoping to know what customers want, or trusting your sales team to tell you the full picture, won’t work. As the boss, you need to get your hands on some raw, unfiltered feedback.

Market information is the oxygen for growth, yet most businesses are suffocating.

In my view, every business, no matter what size, should have a market research project on the go at any given time. You need to be experimenting and questioning and probing, not only internally, in the form of product development and operations, but externally, in the way of market research 

Here are some things you can do to get in touch with the outside world: 

  • Consistently ask everyone you deal with, how they found you, 
  • Set a notification on Google to alert you on key industry trends and customer topics, 
  • Study what customers search for using Google Ads as a tool, 
  • Encourage frank feedback from customers as you work with them and as you finish a project,
  • Be aware of what the competition is doing, although, don’t obsess over them. 

Most importantly, spend time out of your office. If you spend all day, every day, thinking about how to improve your business, you’re doing it wrong. Rather, get out and let your customer tell you what to do.

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