4 Questions to Accelerate Your Small Business Growth

Author: Stephanie Taylor Christensen | May 21, 2016

Have you ever thought about how to accelerate your small business growth?

Running a successful small business that you can stay excited about and challenged by requires a balance of strategic thinking, creativity, and fearlessness. Perhaps you’ve built a successful business but have a nagging feeling that it’s time to grow it further. Maybe you haven’t yet opened your business, and are uncertain how to move from concept to execution. If you’re a serial entrepreneur, you may have the itch to walk away from your current venture and explore an entirely new one.

Whatever your current state in the world of small business ownership, feeling stuck isn’t uncommon, and it’s not a reason to give up. Consider it a loud and clear sign that it’s time to ask some telling questions that can help you free yourself from the uncertainty you face—so you can keep building a business you love.

Accelerate your small business with these four questions

They’ll help you you dig deeper and identify new ways to move forward when you feel stuck!

1. What problem do I “really” solve for my customers?

You know your product or service, and thus likely know the features and benefits that most appeal to your customers. Breathe new life into your perception of what your business can offer—accelerate your small business—by digging deeper into the problem or need it truly solves for your customers. In the first episode of master motivator Tony Robbins’ podcast, Robbins explains how the approach was pivotal in Harley Davidson’s growth and longevity. They sold motorcycles, but on deeper examination, it was apparent that the “benefit” customers bought into was the lifestyle and sense of nostalgia the brand represented. This recognition allowed Harley Davidson to expand its customer base and expand its offering to branded merchandise and apparel. Apply this question to your business and explore new opportunities to shift with the market and evolve.

2. What am I curious about right now?

The word “passion” and entrepreneurship often go hand in hand, yet the reality of running a business means days (and often nights and weekends) spent tending to tasks that are less than creatively challenging, interesting, or fulfilling. In her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert says that abandoning the idea of connecting with your passion can be the first to becoming “unstuck” when you’re in a creative rut.

Gilbert suggests taking note of what makes you the slightest bit curious each day and exploring it further. When you allow yourself freedom to learn more about whatever piques your interest without the pressure to connect it to your business, you may stumble upon unlikely sources of inspiration. Robert Epstein, PhD offers similar recommendations based on his studies on creativity. His work reveals that exposure to different types of knowledge, trying new tasks, meeting new people, and experiencing new settings enhanced creative output by more than half when applied to a group of study participants.

3. What issues do I care about?

Google’s Jaime Casap rocked the Internet in 2015 when he suggested we abandon the common question posed to kids (and often asked of professionally disenfranchised adults) about what they hope to be when they grow up. Instead, he suggests this question: “What problem do you want to solve?” Not only does it explore the deeper “why” behind generic interests, but it can also reveal opportunities to disrupt your current business and/or its industry—if you are willing to address problems you know exist and genuinely feel need to be solved.

4. When do I have my best ideas?

A study conducted at Stanford University indicates that creative thought increases by 60% when a person is walking instead of sitting. You have the power to create an environment that brings out your best ideas when you own your own business. Whether you think best when cooking, knitting, exercising, or painting, block time on your calendar to do an activity you enjoy enough to be immersed in at least a few times a week—you never know when a random idea can unexpectedly help accelerate your small business. Your ability to think without the pressure to arrive at a solution is key to tapping into your intuition and reclaiming your motivation to be an entrepreneur who transforms ideas into action.

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