Cars and Colors.  Originally uploaded by Thomas Hawk.

Rob touched on it his post, but one of the biggest advantages small business have over their larger rivals is that the people who make the real decisions in a small business typically work more closely with their average customers than do their counterparts in large companies. This intimacy allows a freedom of communication that is normally filtered by gatekeepers and the multi layered bureaucracies that most large companies employ.

Open communication can act like the electric rail that the cars at Disneyland drive on. If you listen to your customers, you won’t be able to go off too far to the right or left — they advice and comments will help keep you going straight ahead. Plus, with immediate customer feedback, you’ll find new, and often times, more profitable niches.

If your small business is riddled with gatekeepers and bureaucracy to keep the customers from talking to anyone that really matters — take a day or two per month to take some of your average customers out to lunch. Find out if they see your business the same way you view it.

How do you maintain open communication with your customers?

Technorati: OPEN Adventures

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