Your best Business Adviser could be right under your nose

Gordon Wearing-Smith from local business Really Clever Marketing gives us some marketing advice and writes about Market Research Made Simple - understanding your customers.

In today's highly competitive business environment, we're all searching for insights and ideas that will help to give our business an edge in the marketplace. However, many of the business owners that I assist are often quite surprised when I tell them that some of the best insights into their business are available for free. They're even more surprised when I tell them that this free advice usually comes straight to them, and is paying for the privilege...

Yes, that's right; one of your best sources of information is your customers themselves!

You see, the problem for most business owners nowadays is we are all so busy working in the business that we have no time to step outside the business and to look at it objectively from the one perspective that matters more than any other ... your paying customers.

So, be honest, when was the last time you actually stopped to ask your customers what they really thought of the benefits you provide them?

Whilst every business is slightly different, here are a few examples of simple questions that can reveal so much that you didn't know about your business ...
  1. Why did your customers choose to do business with you in the first place, instead of your competitors?
  2. Why do your customers choose to come back to you after their first transaction?
  3. What is it that your customers believe you do for them?
  4. If your customers could change one thing about your business to improve it, what would it be?

Now, you're reading this and thinking, "But I already know the answers to those questions, they're obvious." Let me tell you, they're anything BUT obvious.

After spending the past 30-plus years assisting all types of business from retail to wholesale, manufacturing and service industries, I know that virtually every business owner assumes they know the answers to these questions. Yet in my experience more than 90% of these business owners are mistaken. In fact, around 30% of them are so wrong that they may actually be doing harm to the business!

Yes, getting the right advice from experienced professionals is a vital step towards growing your business. But if you want to create "a road map" that will take you to where you want to go, you must first understand where you are now. And your customers can help you understand that better than anyone.

Hopefully I'll see you buying some of your best customers a coffee in one of Maroondah's cafes soon. It's a great first step to learning more about your own business.

Meet the business

Gordon Wearing-Smith from Really Clever Marketing advises small and medium businesses on all forms of marketing strategies. He is a Certified Practising Marketer and a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute. His services are available only through referrals from sources such as BizMaroondah. He can be contacted via email on or by telephone: 9870 7978.