Today’s Post by Joe Farace
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.— F. Scott Fitzgerald
In my recent post, Business Can Be Like a Game of Chess, I tossed out a few ways to that you could generate ideas for your business but they were far from the only ways that open-minded photographers will find new, better, faster ways to operate. Here’s a few more…
Listen to your employees (or freelance assistants.) True, they may not always have the “big picture” but they know what it’s like out here in the real world. Even if you don’t use their ideas as offered, there’s a chance you’ll find a kernel you can put into practice. If you do, reward them for these suggestions. The bigger your operation becomes, the further away you get from the actual work. It’s an inevitable part of growth and sooner or later it becomes impossible to remain hands-on without micromanaging and driving your employees crazy or onto your competitor’s payroll.
Listen to your clients. They’re out in the trenches too! If a really client likes working with you, sometime they will tell you about services they would prefer to purchase from you. It can’t get any more real world than this, so make time to investigate implementing at least some of these suggestions and if not, make sure you let them know why not. This will requires two-way communications: Clients must trust you enough to give you new ideas in the first place and you have to be open-minded enough to consider even their wackiest scheme. And if their ideas help you make money, a little “thank you” is more than a good idea.
Ideas walk through open doors. Start by believing that each new day provides you with an opportunity to come up with one new idea. Don’t be discriminating about the proposals that arrive at your doorstep or are suggested to you by employees or clients. Even if the “idea of the day” is simply a better way to landscape the property around the studio, don’t toss it out. Make a note or a sketch and save it in an idea file or better yet a box. The best way to start thinking outside the box is to put your ideas into a box to retrieve at a later time. The wonderful and funny movie “Crazy People,” features character actor David Paymer as a man who carries a “hello box” around with him, filled with slips of papers with various ways of saying “Hi!” to people. Use your idea box the same way.
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