Feedback Is The Soul Of Business
posted by Michael Olafusi , on ,
I think one of the blessing of starting my business on a shoestring is that I had to take in a lot of feedback from the people who most matter: the purchasing customer. I started without an office and surprisingly only the people who never purchased or needed my service advised me to get an office. Those who paid for my service or needed my service never asked about my office.
Today, I now have an office but it was because of a feedback from, again, the people who most matter. After my radio program on 99.3 Nigeria Info in February I got some clients and they wanted to meet me at my office. Also since we began the monthly Excel training a couple of clients wanted to meet me at my office. And I found out too that some business partnership meetings are best done at my office as the other partners want to see for themselves the resources I have and how big the company is. So I partnered with a great friend for a great office space. One that impresses everyone who comes around and gives me a negotiating advantage in most partnership deals.
Then for our monthly Excel training, we don't give a printed reference material or training book. It started more as a cost saving measure in the beginning. Making a book required lots of time and costs a lot if I wanted it done right and not some binded photocopied material. I wanted to stand out: I didn't want to do what I won't be proud of quality-wise. So I thought hard about what to do. In the end, I created video training material and made it the course material. I have conducted numerous training sessions now and with lots of participants giving their feedback. Only one person has requested for a hardcopy training material, and on the other hand, I have lost count of those who praised the video training material method. A lot of our participants pick it as one of the best part of the training, having a well organized video + practice file they can easily access for a refresher session on their own.
Now I have written the Excel training book. My publisher says it will cost close to a million naira for the quantities I want to make. But I'm not in a rush because I am going to sell it and not use it as a training material. I have aptly titled it: Microsoft Excel for The Busy Professional. I already shared a complementary copy with a US organization I did work for last year and this year and the feedback was great. I also shared with another foreign company and they plan to include it in their internal learning platform. Those are green (go-ahead) feedback. I am also working on having it published on Amazon.
Almost everything I am doing is driven by feedback from my paying clients. It is the feedback that most matters. Others do too. But when you are starting on a shoestring like me, you have to make the most of your resources and satisfy the people who will support you with their cash and not just their words. Customers who will buy your services/products. They don't tell you what is great or what would be nice; they tell you what they will gladly pay you for. And in business that is what matters, except you run an NGO.
Feedback is the soul of business. And when you don't have a lot of resources, go for feedback from your buying customers.