I frequently meet business executives and owners who ask for my thoughts on best practices. When I ask why they are seeking this information, their response is invariably a desire to inject new ideas and a fresh perspective on their business to drive growth in both sales and revenue, all while diminishing operating costs and overhead.
There are three sources of new ideas that I recommend in these situations, which require very little investment of either time or capital. The combined outcome of this can yield significant returns and breathe new life into what can often seem a stale existence.
Source #1: Employees. There is no better source for ideas on how to improve business operations and customer value than employees. They work daily to meet customer expectations and understand the bottlenecks and challenges impacting improved performance. You need to strike and retain an ongoing dialogue with employees to extract ideas to improve business performance.
Source #2: Supplier Partners. I’m not suggesting here you ‘pay’ for new technology or equipment, but rather that you ensure suppliers are consistently solicited for information on new products, changes in the marketplace, new technology, even intelligence on what your competitors are doing. You’d be surprised what they’ll share if you simply ask.
Source #3: Peer to peer relations. New ideas often come from those who have “been there and done that.” Do you meet frequently with business owners or executives that have non-competing businesses? You’d be shocked at the parallels between businesses, despite varying sectors or industries. Be sure to connect with peers on an informal basis, or join a network that facilitates such meetings to enhance your network and inject you with new ideas and energy.
If you’re seeking a fresh perspective, consider any (or all!) of these three sources of ideas and best practices, and breathe life into your business and wind back in your sails.
© Shawn Casemore 2014. All rights reserved.
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