They say many hands make light work. As the owner of a small business, the responsibility of generating new business or ideas always seems to fall on our shoulders either because we feel it’s our job or simply a matter of default because we started the company and of course no one is as good as we are.
Unfortunately that kind of thinking puts us at great disadvantage. How different would your business be if there were other individuals helping to identify new prospects? How different would your business be if other people were making suggestions on product development or improvements?
Well in all honesty it’s not as difficult as it may appear to make it happen. Anybody with employees should be able to start almost immediately. The first step is making sure you’re ready for their input. Second, understand it will take a while for you to train both you and employees as you learn what makes a good prospect, product or business improvement idea.
As with all initiatives you will need to prime the pump. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to do so is by sharing. Yes sharing. If you think about it for second we encounter numerous situations that can be used to exemplify good or bad practices that we can share with our staff. They say that leaders are readers, therefore as a leader you probably come across any number of articles that can be distributed amongst your employees that may be in some way be related to your industry that contain nuggets of useful and practical ideas that can be adapted to your business.
In my first company I used to have an individual that would start their day at their desk reading the sports pages of a local newspaper. I on the other hand subscribed to a national business newspaper that I read before heading into the office. After numerous lighthearted comments that he should be reading about things that could help the business and by default his job security, I realized it wasn’t having and probably would never have the desired effect. At that point I decided to change gears and started bringing my newspaper into the office so that it was available throughout the day for all the staff to peruse during their breaks or at lunch.
After a while I augmented this with business periodicals. You see, my thinking was that since the majority of our clients did business globally, chances are they were probably going to be in the news and by default that information could be useful in developing sales opportunities or just a conversation starter at the next meeting. Eventually comments were being made around the office about a promotion or a new initiative at a client resulting in us becoming a better informed organization.
At the end of the day a little effort on your part to engage your employees could help to distribute the load, because many hands make light work.
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