The Value of Looking at Your Business From the Outside In

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Image by timlewisnm

If you were to describe your business to me, you’d probably do so from the inside. You might tell me what you do for your customers, or what challenges there are for you as the owner. It’s completely natural to have this perspective as most of us spend just about all of our time inside our business, looking out.

There is another way to look at your business, however, and it can be a very valuable exercise. Looking at your business from the outside could give you a very different view on things. Think about it this way: when you look at your business from the outside you’ll see the same thing that your customers, prospects and competitors do. Doesn’t that sound useful?!

I’ve helped many of my clients to look at their businesses from the outside, and when they do this they often realise a glaring mistake. On many occasions there has been a very obvious improvement for them to make which wasn’t obvious at all when they were considering their business from an inside perspective.

Some people find it easy to get into the headspace to see their business from the outside, whereas others find it a little trickier. You may be able to find this new viewpoint on your own, or you may need the help of a trusted advisor to get you there. To get started, you could try getting out from behind your desk and talking to some of your customers to see how they experience what you do.

Once you’re looking at your business from the outside, ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Are you presenting what you do in a way that makes sense from the outside?
  • Is there an additional product or service that would fit well with your current range?
  • Are you offering a product or service that doesn’t fit in?
  • Are your processes set up to benefit your customers or to benefit you?
  • Is the service you offer your customers the best it could be?
  • Is there a part of the whole customer experience that’s weaker than the rest?
  • What challenges do your customers have to overcome to work with you?
  • Is there anything your customers need that you haven’t considered before?

If you’ve ever explored this exercise, I’d love to hear about what you discovered. Why not tell me about it? You can share your story in the comments below, on Twitter or Facebook, or even by sending me a private email.

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