In a word, no. Business owners and C-level executives from all industries know the value of business statistics. Some facts, however, are more telling than numbers…and perhaps infused with a little magic. This elusive and astonishing information exists in the hearts and heads of your members.
Numeric business statistics tell us a great deal—and could tell us so much more if coupled with the perceptions and instincts of business owners. Tracking stats is simple, but associations will gather much more valuable information through member surveys administered by third-party experts.
- Opinions and insights do not appear in numerical data. At any moment in time, an owner knows the state of the business and where it is likely to go in the next few months.
- Whether rational or irrational, business owners don’t feel comfortable sharing their statistics and opinions directly with an association for reasons of confidentiality.
- Still, members’ comments, when collected in a free form where they can answer in any way they want, are the most valuable input when predicting the future trajectory of any given industry.
- Compiling these member insights reveals amazing patterns in current and future trends on many levels: business segments, geographic regions, and even the industry at large.
- Independent business confidence analysis of both numerical statistics and free-form commentary offers an association and its members experiential insights into the current state and future direction of an industry.
Engaging a third party not only reinforces trust and maintains confidentiality, but also provides a benefit that your members will use and appreciate—an ongoing glimpse into the future of the industry.