By Rieva Lesonsky
As hard as it may be to actually watch reality shows, there are lessons to be learned from them. I’m not talking only about shows like Bar Rescue, where you’ll learn tips on how to use your working capital to improve your restaurant or bar, or Shark Tank, where innovators pitch their new ideas for investors. Here are nine other lessons you can learn:
Bar Rescue: (Spike TV):
- Do your customers really love the way you run your business? You may think they do, but try asking them what you can improve—the answers may surprise you.
- Do your employees love the way you run your business? Most likely they have great suggestions and are afraid to speak up. Time to change the culture in your business to one of openness.
- Is one bad manager harming your business? Employees might be afraid to speak up, but your customers will tell you how they think your second-in-command is handling the business.
Shark Tank (ABC):
- Know your numbers. Do you have an overinflated idea of what your product or service is worth? Do your market research and keep up on current trends.
- Know your USP (Unique Selling Point). What sets your business apart from the thousands of others that do the same thing? Have you shared your USP with your employees?
- Create an advisory board. You need honest, helpful feedback and a team of experts you can turn to when you need to make a tough decision.
Project Runway (Bravo):
- Be above the drama. Every industry has its share of drama and backstabbing. Stay above the fray and just buckle down to grow your business. Watch what you say on social media about your competition.
- Take criticism and learn from it. Don’t be offended if a customer or vendor criticizes your product, service or the operations of your business. Use that critique to improve your business.
- Flashy can’t cover up poor quality. You can concentrate on extra bells and whistles to attract your customer once you have an undebatably high-quality line of products and services. That’s what really keeps customers coming back for more.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.