What has always been true may not be true anymore

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Unformatted text preview: mers think about them. Think of the artist squinting to get a better view of the landscape. Step back from the business and take a new look. Use the standard techniques and content from Chapter 10: Know Your Market, applying it to your existing business, not a new opportunity. Talking to customers — well, listening to customers, actually — is particularly important. Don’t ever assume you know what your customers think about your company. Things change. If you don’t poll your customers regularly, do it at least once a year as part of the fresh look. As an owner, you should listen to at least a few of your customers at least once a year. It’s a good exercise. For creativity’s sake, think about revising your market segmentation, creating a new segmentation. For example, if you’ve divided by size of business, divide by region or type of business or type of decision process. If you’ve always used demographics, use psychographics. For a discussion of psychographics, see Chapter 10: Know Your Market. Remember to stress benefits. Review what benefits your customers receive when they buy from you, and follow those benefits into a new view of your market. Question all your assumptions. What has always been true may not be true anymore. That’s what I call the fresh look. Develop Your Team with SWOT Analysis Especially when you’re growing an existing business, you want the planning process to pull your team together, to develop commitment and accountability. Managers have to believe in a plan to implement a plan. They also have to believe that results will be tracked and that managers will be held accountable for disappointing results and will be given credit for positive results. The planning process depends on everybody believing that results will make a difference. As an owner or operator of an existing business, recognize this team factor as a vital part of your planning process. Work on bringing the team into the planning at several levels. CHAPTER 5: GROWING YOUR BUSINESS...
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