Be Insightful to Grow Your Small Business.

puzzle_pieceA few years ago I was conversing with someone older and wiser than I.  We were discussing some issues with the technology industry in general when, in response to one of my comments, this senior executive said to me “actually, that’s a great point – it’s very insightful”.

Immediately I knew what she meant because as I was speaking the words I had this warm fuzzy feeling – a moment of enlightenment perhaps.   In my quest to impress her, I’d ultimately had a deep and intuitive understanding of the issue.  I was inside the issue and had clarity of all its facets.

I thought more about this moment in the weeks following and realised that I, and no doubt many other business owners, was often guilty of only making observations about business issues and rarely seeking insight. 

You see, to be observant would be to identify that a particular product line isn’t selling.  But understanding that the product line isn’t selling in a particular vertical market because there’s a competitive product that has a payment plan option is insightful.  Having insight doesn’t mean you have the solution, it simply means you have a greater penetration in to the problem and are therefore much better poised to work on resolving it.

Whilst there is certainly a “gut feeling” or intuitive element to having insight, I believe there’s also a methodical approach you can take to explore your observations and develop insight.  I call it the “Why 5” method – that is, ask “why” five times?  A product isn’t selling – why?  Because customer’s aren’t buying it – why?  Because they aren’t even giving my sales reps the time of day – Why?  Why?  Why?  You get the point.

The end result is a greater depth of understanding about this issue, not just the fact that there is an issue.  I challenge you to use this thinking within your own business for issues that have effectively been barriers to your growth.  Ask “why” five times.  The insight you gain may well break through the barriers and lead to a greater clarity of how your business operates and lead you in to growth.

Did you find this insightful?

Clayton Moulynox – Evolve IT Australia
We fix business problems, not computer problems –  Develop, Solve, Evolve.
Follow me on Twitter: @claytonhm

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Comments
3 Responses to “Be Insightful to Grow Your Small Business.”
  1. Derek Brown says:

    Hi Clayton – In Six Sigma training you learn to ask “why, why, why…” but it’s an easy discipline to forget – and a very useful one to remember. Thanks for the good article – yes it was insightful.

  2. smallbizexperts says:

    Thanks Derek, glad you thought so 🙂

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