Tips to help you compile your questionnaire or survey, keeping it simple.

Sophisticated questionnaires and surveys usually require some professional expertise, but here are some tips to help you compile your questionnaire or survey and keep it simple.

What to include in your survey

Start off with an explanatory paragraph outlining the purpose of this questionnaire or survey and how their input will help your business. Use this space to indicate how long it will take to complete and the due date.

Include an exit or screening question – This question can identify if the responder has no interest or knowledge, if there is potential conflict or bias, or if this questionnaire or survey is not relevant to them.

Ask easier questions first – If there are some questions that are more difficult than others, then mix them up. The easier questions are generally quicker to answer leaving more time for the difficult ones.

Be careful how you ask the questions – be clear and give multiple options but avoid the following:

leading questions that encourage a particular response;
ambiguous questions that can be interpreted in different ways;
multiple questions with a question, i.e. would you prefer and tell me why. Your responders may not realise they need to give multiple answers, therefore you may not receive a consistent answer;
complex questions that include technical terms confusing the responder.
Consider the type of questions you are going to ask:

Open ended questions give the person interviewed a chance to explain how they feel about the product or service you are proposing;
Closed questions invite a yes or no response;
Multiple-choice questions must be carefully designed so that the options given reflect the information that is needed, i.e. ‘would you use this service weekly, monthly, other timeframe, or not at all?’
Rating questions, i.e. ‘how would you rate the quality of this product on a scale of one to five, where 1 is very poor, 2 is poor, 3 is average, 4 is very good and 5 is excellent?’
Don’t make the questionnaire or survey too long – try not to annoy the responder by taking up more of their valuable time than they have been led to believe. Try not to ask questions that are not relevant to the purpose of the questionnaire or survey.

Be careful who you ask – friends and family are great, but they are more likely to give answers that are meant to please rather that an answer that will add value to your products and services. If your questionnaire or survey is about business, then ask only the group of people that matter most to your business – your clients.

What additional information would you like? Take this opportunity to obtain additional, or correct contact details from your customers and clients, or ask for demographics to help determine the characteristics of your target market, i.e. age, gender, income, job type, location etc.

Think about how you will analyse the responses – what will you use and how will you interpret the information? – Entering the responses into a spread sheet will make it easier to understand the frequency, averages, percentages and to show the data in graphs and tables. You could also consider using Pivot tables and Google docs.

For more information and advice about compiling your questionnaire or survey, contact Peptalk on 0792 700 8440, or info@peptalk-uk.com.

What are the essentials of leadership?

A leader creates an environment where people consistently perform to the best of their ability. Some of us are natural leaders, whereas the rest of us have to learn how to lead.

To be a great leader, you need to be many things. To achieve that, there are a number of essentials required. For instance:

Giving a clear sense of direction. If you don’t know where you are going, how do you know when you get there, or what path to take?
Understanding who the customer is. Who really is the customer? A customer is the recipient of a good, service or product. They could be internal or external.
Communicating clearly. What is it you are trying to tell them. If they get it wrong – perhaps they didn’t understand.
Being flexible. Accept change and implement it.
Taking risks but not to the detriment of your department or business.
Building a strong team around you. Have clear goals and objectives from the start. Delegate and regularly review. Respect advice and suggestions.
Listening with humility (be open to what you are hearing) and acting with courage. Be brave.
Earning reward through building trust. Build a culture of competence, honesty and reliability along with good communication and common vision.
Becoming a leader requires time and patience. If you would like some help, or your business would like a Leadership and Management course delivered to suit your business needs, then email info@peptalk-uk.com for more information.

This course is suited to existing managers, directors, these new to management or senior supervisors.

Seven Tips for Engaging Ambassadors

1         Appoint someone in your organisation to be accountable for the ambassador programme. They need to be organised, a good communicator and an ambassador themselves.

2         Research, research, research – who are the ambassadors? Know who and which of your stakeholders are your ambassadors. It takes dedicated time and effort to understand who the ambassadors are amongst your stakeholders.

3         Start small – grow big. Aim for ten passionate ambassadors rather than 100 that are just ‘OK’. Growth will come organically as they help you identify others just like them.

Tell the ten about the value for of recruiting other ambassadors just like them.

4         Create a communication channel just for ambassadors. It is important to connect with your ambassadors and create ways for them to connect with each other.

5         Acknowledge ambassadors. Tell them they are doing a great job and share with them the results and measurables of their great work.

If appropriate, reward them in some way. For example, give them tickets to a event or invite them to lunch with the board. Ambassadors need to know they are doing a great job in order for them to continue doing it.

6         Create a feedback loop between the ambassadors and the brand. Give them a go-to person who will be responsible for ensuring key messages are communicated. Create a forum for responses or feedback. Let them communicate with those that do the marketing. Ask one of your ambassadors to engage in a marketing focus group.

7         Give ambassadors the tools to create something amazing! Fuel the organic growth, so when ambassadors are communicating with their advocates they can immediately bring the brand to their attention. Tools can include flyers or cards which detail website URL, who to contact for further information and the communication channels your organisation engages with.

A New Year and a great time for reviewing the performance of your business!

A New Year brings to us all a fresh start.  I hope over the festive season that business owners had an opportunity to take a few days out to rest up and reflect on the previous calendar years business achievements.

For some Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s),  31st December may have been the end of financial year, so 1st January starts afresh with an updated business plan, some new goals, targets and a fresh action list.

For others, 1st January may be the start of the last quarter for the financial year, so time to review performance over the past three quarters and to understand what needs to change in order to meet the goals set.

How can we be sure we are on track?  Perhaps business owners had great intentions on tracking the performance of their business over the last year but never got the basics underway to do so.   Follow these simple steps to implement some metrics to tracking the performance of your business.

  • Ensure your business data is accurate;
  • Are your goals and targets falling in line with the business plan;
  • Keep the metrics simple, understand what you want implement and the information you expect to receive;
  • Dedicate a resource to track the data and produce a simple, but meaningful report;
  • Decide what you would like to do with the information you receive from the metrics.  Put it on the wall; tell the sales team; tell the stakeholders.  Good, bad or indifferent – something needs to happen.

Remember that tracking the performance of your business aids good business decisions.

If you are a business owner and need help understanding how best to track the performance of your business, then Peptalk can help.