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5 ways market research can help you stay in business

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For many small businesses, management of all aspects of a business is a daunting task. The added responsibility of market research makes it even more intimidating. Nonetheless, the aim of any business is usually to stay afloat and succeed. To achieve this, it’s important to understand the relevant market figures. Market research is that activity that empowers businesses make informed business decisions.

Here are 5 ways market research helps you stay in business

You make better business decisions

Some businesses rely on guess work when embarking on marketing initiatives. While some others launch a new product or service without testing customer responses. Market research enables one to make sound business decisions from research data. Decisions that are relevant to the success of a venture.

Become empowered to evolve business venture

Market research helps you know when it’s time to adopt or abolish business practices. It empowers a business to stay abreast of applicable efforts that facilitate business growth. Researching evolving trends and being strategic helps a business succeed.

Deep understanding of the target market

The best way to better understand your market is through market research. It tells who your customers and potential customers are and how best to meet their needs. Deep insights help you focus on the right market segments and consumers. Collecting market data is critical to understanding your target market. Such data enables the uncovering of critical drivers and factors that influence buying behaviour. Strategic application of market data helps your brand experience growth.

Effective marketing efforts for your business

Market research helps you determine the right advertising channels to engage. The next step is to develop effective messages to appeal to and convert the audience. It also helps you understand the right approach to use for the intended audience and when to use them. Market data helps you over develop and apply your target market behavioural trend. In turn, this helps you improve marketing efforts for your business.

Adopt a customer focused approach

Any business that relies on customers purchasing cannot afford to have unhappy customers. Having happy customers should be the focus of every business to achieve their set goals. Market research plays a huge part in that.

Market research helps you interact with customers to get feedback about your business. This in turn helps to develop efforts focused on keeping your customers happier.

We intend to do a follow up article to this discussing what research activity helps your business and how to go about it. Kindly drop your feedback and questions. We love to hear from you readers.

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Business

Why Great Leaders Stay Curious – According To Some Great Leaders

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“Look out the window and see what is visible but not yet seen” – Peter Drucker.

Ask anyone to describe a leader; chances are you will get replies like strong, charismatic, decisive, and excellent communicators. All these define a good leader, no doubt; however, the essence of true leadership is not in these traits. Below are some examples of notable leaders that do not possess those traits at all;

1. Jeff Bezos – the CEO of Amazon, has revolutionized retailing and business, but he does not attract attention because of his commanding appearance.

2. Sheryl Sandberg – the COO of Facebook, is a visionary leader who is changing the role women play in the world, but in her demeanor, she seems modest and quiet.

3. Stephen Hawking – was one of the world’s greatest scientists and transformative thought leaders, yet he suffered from physical limitations.

We can both agree that these people are prominent leaders, and they have a lot in common. They are empathetic and intelligent. However, they share one great trait; Curiosity. They are all extremely curious people.

This old saying “curiosity killed the cat” is usually used to warn people against sticking their nose into business that might get them into trouble. On the contrary, as a leader, curiosity is one of the most valuable tools you can have. “Welcome to the era of the curious leader, where success may be less about having all the answers and more about wondering and questioning,” said Warren Berger, author of the book A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry To Spark Breakthrough Ideas, writes in HBR.

Curiosity inspires leaders to continually seek out fresh ideas and approaches needed to keep them abreast of change and stay ahead of their competitors. During one of his researches, Berger says, he found that the most innovative leaders used curiosity “as a starting point to reinventing the entire industry. We can take a cue from Jeff Bezos. “From early on in Amazon’s life, we knew we wanted to create a culture of builders — curious people and explorers. They like to invent,” Bezos said in his annual letter to shareholders published in April. Jeff places great importance on time spent to explore curiosity.

When asked in an interview with CNNMoney, what makes the best CEOs? Jill Ader responded: “With a less knowable, less predictable world, we need really curious leaders.” In other speeches, she explained with the points below how highly curious people engage the world, their teams, and colleagues differently:

  • They assume less.
  • Ask more, different, and better questions.
  • They value not just what people think, but what they feel.
  • They listen intently to the answers they receive.

Curious leaders tend to see things from a fresh perspective. Most of them bring a ‘beginner’s mind’ approach to old problems and stubborn challenges. They continually examine and re-examine their assumptions and practices, asking deep, penetrating, and speculative questions like ‘Why,’ ‘What if,’ and ‘How.’ According to Arder, the most significant mindset shift is curiosity. If you get more curious, if you ignite your curiosity, you will be more interested in different, unique views. Driving success in today’s incredibly complex world has never been more challenging. It is a leaders’ core sense of curiosity that promises to unlock the barriers best and push the boundaries of knowledge and performance well into the future.

Every day offers new opportunities to listen to different ideas, learn new things, and try something different. We all have the potential of being curious, start building your leadership today only by being curious.

 

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Networking Is Dead

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“Networking as we know it, is dead,” says Scott Gerber, the CEO of The Community Company and author of “Super Connector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter.” I quite agree with him, or should I say maybe we are not doing it the right way.

People have over 500 connections on LinkedIn, and most do not even know a single one of them, well maybe one or two family members and a few friends. For example, I have 224 connections, excluding my family and friends on LinkedIn, and I am yet to speak with any them. These days we dwell so much on the number of connections we have, the number of business cards we were able to collect and give out, and the small talks we might have had in the process, that we abandon the sole purpose of connecting with people.

“Rather than growing a huge network focused on sheer numbers, building a strong network is about establishing a relatively small number of deep, high-quality, business relationships based on common values. The ‘why’ of connecting is focused on people first, opportunities second. Allow yourself to help others. Don’t feel like you are too generous or giving away too much with nothing in exchange. Keeping score won’t do you any good.” – an excerpt from the book ‘Networking is dead – making connections that matter’ by Larry Mohl.

To create strong relationships that can boost your personal and professional goals, you would need to focus on relationship building instead of being a networker. Networkers are short-term thinkers, very transactional oriented. These days, people use relationships for their personal gains and strategies. Meanwhile, a relationship builder realizes beforehand that social capital is the most important currency she will ever have. She is empathetic, emotionally connected, intelligent, curious, and a people lover. Unlike the networkers, she thinks more long-term in terms of value creation and naturally generous towards others. Building deep relationships can take a while; however, you will reap the benefits from them later on.

To be a relationship builder instead of a networker, you should think like one, according to Gerber, there are three kinds;

The Thinkers; They are curious and have lots of ideas running through their heads. However, they are not always good at executing them. If you are one, you should make an effort to share those ideas with people. Look for people who can help or inspire you to put those ideas into action.

The Enablers; They assemble people and share their ideas with them. An enabler is that friend that would always email you to introduce you to someone she thinks might be able to help you out

The Executors; These are the accomplishers; they make people’s ideas happen. If you are one, find ways to expose yourself to as many new ideas as possible. Maybe, you can start reading new publications or following new hashtags related to your industry.

Before we conclude, here are some tips for you to enjoy the benefits of relationship-building; 

  • Change your approach,
  • Develop your expertise,
  • Build your relationships around a shared interest,
  • Share what you know with people,
  • Focus on a higher goal,
  • Make sure you follow-up on all your contacts.

Like people say, “you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or be the boss of a company to be a successful person.” To get great things done, open yourself up to new ideas and people; build strong relationships.

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