Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Customers know your future

     Clients and customers will tell you what they want. If they don't, ask them. The resulting conversations can be gold mines of new ideas for you to grow, expand, and--maybe--go off into a new direction.

     Restaurant -- Eve runs a popular restaurant for corporate types in her area. It is a destination for the lunchtime crowd. One of her customers asked Eve if she might be planning to get her own app for the restaurant. Eve investigated and decided that it would be a good idea. Today, Eve's restaurant has its own app. Customers can check out the daily specials and order ahead--as they leave their offices and get on the road. When they arrive, their meals are ready. They sit down and are pleased with the new service.

     Chiropractic -- John is a chiropractor. One of his clients asked him to recommend a nutritionist--this lady wanted help getting in better shape. Today, John has arranged with a certified nutritionist to be on hand every Friday to talk about nutrition, weight problems, make recommendations, answer questions, and hand out information on foods and meals. John announces these sessions on social media every week. The sessions are well attended and they are bringing new clients to John.

     Attorney -- Eric is an attorney with his own private practice. While working with a client on a business problem, the client asked how to handle a simple traffic ticket. This led Eric to think about how to use this to bring in new clients. Today, Eric offers a series of informational brochures on common problems--how to react to a lawsuit, simple traffic problems, different ways to organize a business, what to do when you get a subpoena, elder care problems, and more. No legal advice is offered, just general information. He has these printed brochures displayed in his office, on his website, and he sends out the word on social media. This activity brings in new clients for more substantial legal questions and undertakings. 

     You already stay on top of your marketplace. But your customers and clients can point you to the leading edge of the marketplace. They can put their finger on something you might not have yet thought about. Ask them what else you can do the them. Listen to their answers.