Tag Archives: smallbusinesstalent.com

The Power of One Simple Question

I like this. If you want real customer feedback, keep it simple. My friend Stephen Lahey, of Small Business Talent, understand email, and who he’s talking to, when he asks his small business owner clients one simple question:

Stephen Lahey SmallBusinessTalent.com simple survey

“When you think of me and our working relationship, what are the five adjectives that first come to mind?”

The illustration here on this post shows the survey link he offered. There it is, a single question, with the promise of “done” showing right there on the submit button. 

And — no surprise — this keep-it-simple strategy works great for getting responses. The subject line of the email was “Single Question Survey.” The open rate was higher than average, almost all who opened clicked-through to view the survey, and about 60% of this number actually submitted survey feedback. Those are really good results. 

I think that’s a brilliant example of how to use data and surveys, and get people to join in. Even though yesterday I posted Don’t base business decisions on data and statistics on Up and Running, which contradicts this post, I still think this is brilliant. And yes, the one does contradict the other.  That happens all the time. 

Steve said: 

The feedback I received was consistent and encouraging. But it wasn’t exactly what I expected — it challenged my assumptions. Valuable? Yes, indeed.

And he makes this point: 

My point? If you want to understand the reality of your brand, then don’t assume anything. Ask your clients for their feedback. I think that you’ll find it’s an eye opening experience.

Yes. Well said. Great example. 



Two Entrepreneurial Relationships: Uncertainty, and Real People

Hardly surprising that I recommend Befriending Uncertainty on Stephen Lahey’s Small Business Talent podcast, released yesterday: he interviewed me. 

Tim Berry Stephen Lahey Small Business Talent

There’s a lot about relationships in that interview. Important entrepreneurial relationships: 

  1. Your spouse, partner (life partner, not just business partner — and maybe both), and family. I think it’s important to manage your priorities so you can build a business, do that work, and not forget that your people are more important. In my case, my wife gets the credit for that, not me. 
  2. The uncertainty thing is very real. Watching people struggle for more analysis and more data and better projections of the future sometimes drives me crazy. So often the fact is: you don’t get to know. You have to guess. 

I hate the cliches of small business success: overemphasis on the idea, passion, persistence, instead of giving value and giving people what they want. I like a chance to say something different.