In your next team meeting, ask your staff this simple question:

“If you were the owner of this business, what are the three things that you would do differently, you would change, you would start doing or stop doing, marketing ideas or ways that we run the business day to day?”

Get them to write them down – keep it anonymous – and then look through the answers.  Sometimes your team can see things that you can’t see and they have some really great ideas that will help you grow and build your business.  They are often on the front line with your customers so will have insights that can help you and I’ve seen them come up with amazing marketing strategies that I’d never considered before.

The trick with this exercise is you have to do some of the items.  Even pick out some small ones and do them that day.  I once asked my staff this question and one of them suggested that we needed more plants in the shop, something that was living.  I knew who had written it as she was a real green thumb, so I went to her and asked how much she needed to buy some good plants – that I couldn’t kill – and I gave her the cash and sent her to the store.  What this did was to show the entire team that I valued their input and it then lead to them coming up with even more ideas in the future.

This will also alert you to any problems or things that are really bugging your team.  Don’t be concerned if the first time you do this, some of the responses are really silly or minor things.  They are testing you out to see how you respond to the minor things.  If you handle the minor things well, they will then share the major things.