This week I had the opportunity to spend three days in beautiful Cassopolis, Michigan at the Economic Gardening® National Strategic Research Team’s (NSRT) annual retreat hosted at the Edward Lowe Foundation. Members of the NSRT meet once a year in person to collaborate on best practices.

The truly fascinating part of these retreats is the exposure to different personality preferences and various specialties. The NSRT is composed of team leaders, market researchers, digital marketers, and geographic information systems (GIS) specialists from across the country, all of whom have a unique entrepreneurial spirit.

Exposure to temperaments that are unlike your own can create feelings of discomfort; however, at the retreat I found true value in pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. In addition, gaining the perspective of individuals operating in other industries who provide other services will be fundamental in helping to push the boundaries and expand my thinking beyond the box when conducting market research.

Last week Access/Information discussed that a part of benchmarking is striving for continuous improvement, an elemental criteria for a successful business. If you are not constantly evaluating your processes and deliverables, you cannot get better and your business with stagnate. Exposure to professionals who can provide insight into the process with an unbiased, outside viewpoint can help to create improvement beyond what you may have thought possible.

At Economic Gardening® and at Access/Information, we are in the business of growing businesses for the everyday entrepreneur. We are able to serve you better through collaborative learning. What steps are you taking towards continuous improvement?