How to Listen to Your Community’s Suggestions
Posted on October 1, 2013 by Poornima in BizeeBee, Solutions

As a owner of a studio it’s easy to think that you know what is best for your studio, your customers, and your instructors. You might have a way of running things, or a certain vision for your business. If an outsider gives you feedback, you might dismiss it thinking, “What do they know about running a studio?” or “Ugh, I don’t have time for this!” Or you might just perceive it as a complaint rather than a suggestion.

Having an attitude of I-know-what’s-best-for-my-studio is exactly the kind of attitude that often times holds studio owners back from having a flourishing business. At BizeeBee, we often see this as one of the signs that a studio is going to be closing down their business soon.

Successful studios have learned to blend and balance feedback from their community.

However, we understand that as an owner you cannot listen to everyone! Here are 3 tips for how to evaluate feedback from folks within your community to figure out if you should incorporate it into your business.

1. Is the feedback aligned with current business goals?

Let’s say that for example you have a goal that by the end of the year you’d like to attract more members to your studio. So if someone comes up to you and offers a suggestion on how you can attract more members, then it might be worth at least taking the time to listen to.

The key is to ask some follow up questions like, “Do you know any other studios that have done what you’ve suggested and seen results?” and “Would you mind putting me in touch with them?”

The reason you’re asking these follow up questions is to get more details on how the suggestion was actually implemented, and if it was in a studio like yours. You want to be sure that the suggestion actually applies to your business’ situation.

2. Is the person who is giving you feedback reputable?

If this is the first time you’re interacting with the person, who is giving you feedback, it can be hard to gauge whether they are a reputable or credible source. It’s up to you to give them the benefit of the doubt. You can start by digging into their background a little by saying something like, “That’s an interesting suggestion. I’m curious to know what your background is?”

It’s possible that they might be a studio owner themselves, a business coach, or someone in the biz who has a lot of experience.

But if they are just some schmuck off the street, then clearly you can thank them for the suggestion and move on!

3. Can you try to implement a portion of their feedback?

There are those who think BIG, and offer a suggestion that you wish you could implement in your studio but you just don’t have the resources!

In this case especially, it’s important to take a step back, and say something like, “Wow that is a great idea! Unfortunately, I don’t have the resources to make it happen. Can you think of a way that maybe we could implement a portion of it or scale it back a bit?”

Put a little pressure on them to think through their own suggestion. If they are really interested in seeing you flourish they will take the time to refine their suggestion and come back with something a little more bite-sized for your business.

Now at BizeeBee, we want to know have you recently taken a suggestion from a member of your community? If it did end up benefiting your business, what were the steps you put in place to make it happen?

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