peering in 300x225 An Out of Body (or Out of Business) Experience is What You NeedAs many of you know, I help out some of my friends at their market stand at Lancaster Central Market a few days a week, and I really enjoy the time I spend there, and it’s actually quite good for recharging me for what I do in my own business. The other day, one of the owners of the stand stepped out from behind the counter and went out front where the customers stand. She quickly noticed that there was some kind of “gunk” on the glass window of the refrigeration unit, as if some kid had chewed something up and spit it out. I could tell by the look on her face that there was something unpleasant there, and she proceeded to clean it up.

In fact, we often step outside to take a look at what the business looks like from the customer’s perspective.

This is easy to do, at least from a physical standpoint, at something like a brick and mortar stand or business. And it’s certainly helpful and instructive.

But what can be even more helpful is if you can find a way to step out of your business in a more figurative sense, and see what others are seeing and perceiving from the outside in. What do outsiders think of your business?

Take the time to ask your customers for their honest opinions on your business. Don’t just go to your closest friends and regulars. They might just tell you what you want to hear. Find people who perhaps you don’t even know. Get their input on everything from the products you offer to your customer service. Be prepared to learn some things that maybe you don’t really want to hear. But good or bad, it’s all information that you need to know.

You’ll want to make sure you wear your thickest skin and be ready for whatever comes your way.

But most importantly: listen. Take it all to heart and evaluate it accordingly. Celebrate the good, and accept the bad as potential points of improvement.

When’s the last time you stepped outside of your business to see it how your customers see it?