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Retail businesses are easy in the sense that you can quickly eyeball your shelves and see what you’re running low on, what has been sitting around collecting dust – and when it’s time to restock.  When what you ‘sell’ is in your brain, how to you take inventory?  How do you know what’s been sitting on the shelf, when it’s time to repackage, or when supplies are running low and it’s time to restock?

Filling your knowledge reserves is something that a lot of service professionals don’t always take time to do.  We all see the advertisements for higher education, and that in times of poor economic times, ‘retooling’ may give you a leg up in the job market, but that is not what I’m referring to.  Do you seek out professional networking groups in your genre (or outside of it?) to gain new business ideas, expertise, or insight into serving your customers better? Do you take on pro bono work in areas you need to beef up to gain skills?  Do you find a mentor?  Read books?  Attend seminars?  I’m curious to know how and when you identify the need to take stock of your assets and adjust your offerings.

Claiming that you ‘provide whatever your clients need’ is fine, but not very realistic.  If you are targeting the wrong clients, you could very easily become skewed in your offerings and venture away from what makes you valuable.  Keeping on track is difficult enough when the temptation is to take clients for the sake of paying bills, but having a definite path for acquiring both clients and knowledge is imperative.

I How do YOU do it & more importantly  – do you restock?