Now that we are a few weeks into the new year, most of us are charging fully into 2015. And while the discussions about New Year’s resolutions prompt us to explore change or goals for most of us on a personal level, we often ignore the new year as a chance to also think of new ways to do things from a business perspective. This is especially true this year as most of us are busy… busier than we have been since long before the recession hit. But, as the workload has returned, have our inefficiencies and bad habits returned as well? Are we operating in a smart way that is effective for today’s marketplace?

I am very aware of this topic as I am currently conducting a survey for a new customer in preparation for a strategic planning session. The outcome of our efforts will be a marketing plan to guide their marketing and business development efforts during the next few years. However, while these phone surveys I am conducting of their customers and peers has already proven to help pinpoint marketing needs, brand perceptions and growth opportunities, the feedback has also resulted in identifying some key areas of change–or at least attention needed–in operations, accounting and other areas of the company. And this makes sense as so many of us had to adjust functions and processes in our companies to survive the economic downturn. However, now that we are on the rebound, should it be business as usual? Is it time for us all to poll our audiences?

After one of the surveys I conducted today, I stopped and thought about the last time I had completed a survey on behalf of a client and I think it must be three to four years ago. The timing makes sense, as nobody wanted to survey their clients about their performance when times were tough! But I do think the timing is right to ask for feedback as we enter this new year and our backlog gets built out. A simple survey conducted via email, a phone survey or even some in-person meetings asking for feedback on processes and perceptions is key to thriving in this new economy.

Let us know if you want to discuss how a survey can be beneficial to you.