Do you have all the answers?

If you think the correct answer to that question is yes, you are either incredibly smart, incredibly naive, or you are a small business owner. The need to know all the answers seems to come with the job.

Unfortunately, there is no “rule” book for the job of small business owner.  Every day, your employees, customers, and partners look to you for answers, so you have to have all of them, right? .. Wrong!

The key to success often lies in learning to ask questions, admit you don’t know, and occasionally following  someone else’s advice. It turns out, asking for help can also be a great web traffic building strategy.   In an article entitled, Three Instantly Effective Social Media Ideas, Alexandra Samuel, describes the Suggestion Box.

What is the Suggestion Box?

It is an invitation to your customers, supporters or employees to submit their ideas and suggestions for new products, services or improvements. More then just a place to post comments and ideas, an  interactive suggestion box allows community members rate submissions so the best ideas rise to the top.

The challenge, is if you do this, you actually have to implement some of the ideas suggested.  Giving up control can be scary, but rewarding.  We have actually done this with a few design projects indcluding the redesign of both the Roundpeg and Indy-Biz websites.

In both of those cases, we have a basic concept, and asked for feedback.   (Sometimes we got more than we wanted).  The input from our readers helped shape the final project.  After reading Alexandra’s article, I am going to look for a more open ended project to try  this on.

What do you think?  Have you had good results with suggestion boxes of your own?