I’m currently reading Norah Casey’s book ‘Spark – how to reignite your passion for life and become the person you always dreamed of’. As most of you know, she is a former nurse, journalist, entrepreneur, broadcaster and former Dragon on RTE 1’s Dragon’s Den. She tells the reader about how we set out in life wanting to believe and believing that we can achieve great things and lots of us do. But for most of us life, personal and business circumstances put a pothole in the road, a hole in our shoe a bend in the river that can either steer us off course, stop us to reflect or worst case cause us to give up stay still and / or turn back.
Ms Casey in her book helps us and shows us how to keep going, to keep believing, to keep the goal foremost in our minds eye and when we do we will succeed.
I mentioned that Ms Casey was also a broadcaster. She had her own show ‘The Takeover’ aired on RTE television during 2013/2014. In the show, she facilitates, coordinates and mentors small businesses to re-innovate themselves by working with front-line / customer-facing staff, helping them to come up with innovative ideas that will increase footfall, increase turnover and ultimately effect the bottom line in a positive way. Unlike other shows, she does not tell the staff what to do. Instead, through her facilitation, communication and people skills, she encourages the staff to believe in themselves and extracts innovative ideas through the process of speaking from the heart, brainstorming and insightful, fearless action. The business owners provide a fund to the staff to develop the ideas, but the focus is on low-cost ideas that won’t break the bank through their implementation and will have the biggest effect on the bottom line.
The need for owner / managers of small businesses to re-innovate their business, products and services so as to stay in business is now more prevalent than ever. Many of them do this on their own or by bringing in experts from their business field of expertise and rarely involve the front-line / customer-facing staff.
These front-line / customer-facing staff know the business as well as anybody else, they know what the customer wants, they know what the customer expects, but they are rarely asked for their opinion.
As you start a New Year in business, be grateful for your staff, get them involved in developing / innovating your business and witness the many direct and indirect benefits for your business, your staff and your customers.