Questions lead to answers, but if you know how to ask the right questions, you may find yourself on a much more exciting path with more opportunities than you thought possible.
Time to become a toddler again! Asking why is important because it helps you understand the purpose behind what you are saying, selling, doing or writing. Without purpose, you cannot determine value.
Question the why behind your products, services, operating procedures and marketing strategies. It will highlight any flaws and clarify which areas need more highlighting.
Ask questions that zoom in on the details. How is it done? How long does it take? Are there any other methods to do it better? How can we combine it with something else to make a more original product/service that fills a niche need? Get antsy about it. It helps.
Then, ask questions that look at the bigger picture. Do you think your product or service will still be in demand two years from now? What are your competitors doing? Is your business still going in the right direction or is it changing and evolving into something new? What else out there is relevant to what you are doing? These are explorative questions – take them all the way out and have a good look.
Ask questions that spark new thoughts and ideas. Consider how your business would function if you had to change location or target another market that is different to your main one. Think of it as a fun game, similar to that popular question, “What would you do if you could do anything at all?” Apply it to your business. If you could get a contract with any company, who would you want it to be? Where are your clients’ needs met? What could you do differently to beat the competition?
We can’t hear you! Just kidding. What are your business goals? What are you doing to achieve them? What are the problem areas? What is the potential behind all the crazy and wonderful answers to the above questions? What would it cost you to explore one new venture? What can you do to streamline your productivity? Question every opportunity – this is the short version of effective risk management.
When you have explored all the question journeys above, it is time to ask some people about the answers. Yes, more questions. Ask experts, coaches and people who are in a completely different line of work. Compare topics, ideas, approaches, methods, resources and networks to see what you can come up with.
Time for action! At last! Choose one appealing, worthwhile new direction or change that you have learned out of applying all the above and get on with it! Innovate, change, learn and enjoy your growing business!