How to Receive Feedback When You Work for Yourself

How to Receive Feedback When You Work for Yourself

 

Feedback, no matter how sticky it feels to give and no matter how scary it might be to receive, is the thing that makes our work improve and ourselves grow. Whether it be constructive criticism or a raving review, both positive and negative feedback is what keeps businesses moving forwards. 

 

In the traditional workplace, feedback is everywhere. It’s in meetings, it’s in appraisals and evaluations. It’s in promotions, targets and customer complaints. But when you work for yourself — as your own boss, feedback seldom raises it’s hand. It’s harder to track down and thus harder to gage how well your business is doing externally. 

 

But if we want to keep attracting new clients and if we want to keep selling our stock, then we need to be frequently collecting feedback. We need to know how we can improve our services and what we need to continue doing. Here are some ideas which will help you gather that all important feedback necessary to being the best business you can be…

 

Offer something in exchange for a review/testimonial/feedback questionnaire. 

Whether you enter everybody that submits a review/writes a testimonial/fills out your questionnaire into a draw to win a big prize or offer everybody who completes one a smaller prize, this is a great way to persuade people to offer their thoughts on your services.

 

Find a mentor who would be willing to sit down with you every month or so to offer their constructive feedback.

Finding a trustworthy, honest and positive mentor (positive is key — you don’t want someone who will completely knock you down when delivering feedback) is a great way to really get to the bottom of what’s working and what isn’t in your business. An IRL conversation is always a little more expansive as you can ask your mentor to explain their feedback further. The only problem with this idea is that as a small business owner, it’s often a little tricky to find someone who’s close enough to your business to know how it runs and how you operate. And it’s never a good idea to ask someone who reports to you for feedback as the line of authority can become blurred. However, if you can make this idea work, then it really is a great way to keep evaluating where you and your business are and how you can move forwards. 

 

If your work is client or project based, send a feedback sheet with your invoice. 

You can create simple but really on-brand PDF sheets that simply ask clients to provide what they liked and found valuable about your service and one way they think you could improve your service. Affirm to them that their feedback is really beneficial for when they work with you again in the future and you would be grateful for even a sentence or two. 

 

Conduct polls and questionnaires on social media. 

I don’t know about you but I love the poll feature on Instagram — I find myself suddenly invested in subjects I never knew I had an opinion on but feel inclined to give! These features are so simple yet so effective in collecting feedback if you ask the right questions. Even if it’s something along the lines of “which colour design did you prefer: pink or red?” your answers will give you valuable intel to how your customers respond to your products/services and what they liked best. 

 

Ask your fellow witches what they think when you launch a new project! 

Whether it’s their thoughts on a sparkly new website or helping you choose between two potential logo designs, someone in The Coven will always be willing to offer their feedback and help you in any way they can — support, encouragement and empowerment is what this businesshood is for! Whenever you need another pair of eyes or any ideas or feedback, The Coven will always have your back.

 

So although you may not have a boss constantly monitoring your progress or an appraisal to shine light on what’s going well for you, there are actually plenty of ways you can gather feedback for your business. And it’s vital you do — the only way to grow is by tending to what needs watering (and you won’t know what needs watering without feedback!)

Esme MarshComment