You’re at work. It’s someone’s birthday. Hooray! Cake!

And they’re lamenting “I’m sooooooo old!

You politely enquire, “How old?

33” is whispered back. Like it’s a terminal diagnosis.


You reflect on 33. Hmmmm. It was a while ago.

But hang on.

You’re only 41.

40 is the new 30, right?

You’re up for Friday night drinks.

You run regularly.

You’re still on the young side.

Or are you?

It’s that moment when you look around and realise you’re now older than many of your workmates.

I find it ironic that I’m going to write a blog post that talks about “secret ingredients” and “recipes” because it’s a well known fact among my friends and family that my cooking skills are non-existent. My repertoire is limited to toasted ham sandwiches and spag bol, and should I attempt to cook, a fire blanket and extinguisher are subtly placed on the bench next to me.

But even a cooking nuffy like me understands there’ll always be specific ingredients required to make your recipe work. Like baking bread. …

The hustle is real.

Getting customers in the door is hard work.

We know the steps.

Start by identifying their needs.

Then develop a solution.

And don’t forget to deliver an experience that delights.


But what happens when your customers don’t come back?

Surprise. Frustration. Disappointment.

And it’s not just about how you feel. It’s about growing your business. A study by Lee & Associates, quoted by Forbes noted that “attracting new customers will cost …five times more than keeping an existing customer”.

How do you keep customers coming back?

By using research to observe and connect — the…

With mum, on what was to be her last Christmas celebration

Today is December 17th, 2017. Eight years since my mum died. And while her absence is particularly noticeable on days like today, life has this weird habit of marching on.

2009 started out innocently enough, but by the end of that year I was a totally different person. Most of my friends consider me organised and planned. But 2009 was anything but that.

I kicked off the year by putting the apartment I loved onto the market, so I could buy something bigger and fulfill my dream of having a dog. …

How happy are your customers? Here’s how to find out

You’ve been running your business for a while, and things are going ok but you don’t really know what happens after you make a sale.

Were your customers happy?



Sure, you may have customer reviews, but often feedback is at either end of the spectrum — either overjoyed or unhappy.

What about those who fall somewhere in the middle?

Do you know what you need to do to keep them coming back and telling others about your business?

It’s tempting to jump straight into creating and sending a survey. …

3 steps to validating your big idea

You have idea. You’ve been tossing it around in your head. Showing your friends and family. And the more you think about it, the more excited you get. This could actually be the start of something!

You know you need to do some ‘research’, but where do you start? Here’s some tips on how to tap into your potential customers through forums, and learn more about their needs. Needs that, hopefully, you can help them solve.


Before launching into a forum and asking question, take the time to simply write down the…

Elyssia Clark

Eternal optimist with a thirst for knowledge | Creative analytic | Blogger @ The Research Toolkit (

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