Why do you need to get a fresh perspective on your business? Why is it important? And how do you go about it? This quote from the brilliant Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, is a great place to start.
Trying to do it all and expecting it all can be done exactly right is a recipe for disappointment.Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook
Personally, I think the key word here, is all. The concept of all brings with it both time (nobody has time to do everything, and more importantly, to do everything well) and capability constraints (we don’t all have the expertise to accomplish everything perfectly). But perhaps more importantly than that, it hammers home the fact that we can’t all be right about everything, all of the time. Getting a fresh perspective is vital, and not just in business.
So if you work for yourself, how can you go about getting a fresh perspective on whatever it is you’re doing? Getting a second (and third, and fourth… as appropriate) opinion, is crucial so that we’re able to see the bigger picture, and view things in a different way.
Friends and Family
This is an obvious one when it comes to getting a fresh perspective. And it’s a great starting point, especially when you’re taking your first steps along the path to entrepreneurship.
What do your friends and family think about your idea? Will they support you in pursuing it? What do they think your strengths are as an aspiring entrepreneur? And what about your weaknesses? But this one should also be handled with care. Our friends and family want the best for us, and so while their opinions are welcome and their support vital, their perspective may also come with a little bias on the side.
Again this is an important way of gaining a fresh perspective, especially when you’re starting out. You might think you have the best idea in the world (obviously!) but how do you know whether it actually has legs, if you don’t ask people?
You can start by keeping things simple – ask people you know who fit your target demographic(s). See what their reaction is to your proposed product or service. But then keep building on this – reach out further by doing online surveys or focus groups. And if you want to be really thorough, you could consider engaging an appropriate agency.
This is definitely a practical one, and builds on the market research above. Your market research will tell you whether people actually want what you’re offering. Feedback tells you whether or not you actually did a good job. It tells you how you can improve. It gives you a fresh perspective on the customer experience, and highlights things (both positive and negative), that you might not have thought about.
So ask yourself – when did you last ask for constructive feedback from your customers? And did you put what you learned to good use? It’s also worth thinking about how often, and in what form, you ask for feedback.
A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.Unknown
Chloe and I are huge advocates of this particular approach, and the fresh perspective that it can bring. You can find out more about what mentoring is, and how it works in our earlier blog post.
We also practise what we preach – we have a mentor ourselves, and also mentor others with their personal development and the growth of their businesses. If you would like to find out more about how this works and how it could benefit you and your business, get in touch.
Reach out to your peers
This is a great one if you’re feeling stuck with something, and you need to consult with people in a similar position. You could set up a mastermind group if you have contacts who would be willing to help. Or there are a multitude of online groups where you can post questions and seek support. And if you go to a networking group and are looking to connect with a specific type of business, contact the organiser in advance and ask if they can introduce you.
Having opportunities like this is vital for all small business owners, and comes back to the point that we none of us can do it all. And it’s for this reason also that the Tabono community exists. Our members can seek support from us, from each other and from our team of Experts via our events and through our Facebook group, whenever they need to. So if you’re looking for somewhere to go to connect with your peers, why not check it out?
We hope that you’ve found these tips useful. It’s so important not to try to do everything yourself when you run a small business. So why not take some time to get a fresh perspective, and then use what you learn to take your business to the next level?