It’s about that time of year when summer vacations are winding down and families are settling back into their regular routines.
Think of your trip for a moment. If you are like most people, you probably had a detailed plan locked-in well in advance of your departure date and it was probably as thorough as a pre-launch checklist at NASA. Why? Because you wanted to make sure the journey didn’t end up being the inspiration for another Chevy Chase Vacation movie.
Bottom line, you had a vision for your vacation.
So now that the trip (and it’s great memories) are in your rear view mirror, it’s time to buck up and ask yourself a couple of questions about your business: How much time and planning have I put into making my business rock? (I hope the answer is “at least equal to or greater than the summer trip”). And, what am I basing my game plan on?
I will tell you what I tell my clients. Here it is and it is rarely a wrong answer. It all starts with the research. Shockingly, many businesses launch without having done any research at all. None! Nada! Zilch! And lots of companies don’t make research an important part of their strategy even after they are up and running.
Sure, some businesses find success by taking a gamble or ‘going on gut.’ The question you have to ask yourself is whether you want to take that kind of risk. If you do, then I wish you luck. Thanks for stopping by! If you want to take a more conservative and careful approach, then the rest of this article is for you.
When I start working with a client I don’t berate them about what I see as a misstep of launching (or introducing a new product line) without a strategy based in research. It’s not about the past. It’s about what we can do from this point forward.
Instead, we immediately sit down and get real by having an honest discussion about where they want to take their business. I tell them research is what helps them get a true picture of who their customers are. It helps them to identify the public perception of their business, and in some cases, it underscores to businesses that they are, unfortunately, not even thought of in the general marketplace. Put simply, solid research gives you a baseline and helps to take much of the guesswork out of how to grow the business. It helps businesses to actually create a vision, capitalize on their strengths and make some hard decisions in areas where they may be vulnerable.
There is an old saying that goes, “There is nothing more expensive than a missed opportunity.” Used in the research realm, it translates to something probably less memorable as a quote — but powerful as a practice to follow: “Know everything you can possibly know about your business and industry”. That means invest in research. And then, do something with that research. Sadly, some companies take the lead, do the research, and then let the data sit on a shelf collecting dust. And if you need a little extra motivation, just remember, if you’re not doing research your competitor probably is.
Give us a call. We can help. Joe Hengemuehler Consulting. 888-703-4636.