As a business owner, I know that understanding your clients, customers, and other stakeholders is critical. To do this right, you have to ask the right questions and pay attention to the details. Companies ignore this at their peril.

Take, as an example, these two questions, which keep turning up in online polls–

  • What state do you live in?
  • Do you think people in Washington are out of touch?

–and how I want to answer them.

1. Yes, I live in the continental United States. But, no, I don’t live in a state. I live in the District of Columbia. There are lots of political and financial consequences to our lack of statehood, but that’s a topic for a whole different kind of post.

2. Of course not. I live in Washington, as do lots of other smart, funny, hardworking people who are just like everyone else. And, newsflash: the politicians these polls are really talking about all are residents of somewhere, anywhere, but my hometown.

The only thing that comes from these two questions is that I think the polling firm that’s writing them is out of touch. Plus, I’m irked.

Neither is an impression I want to give people about my business.

Are you sweating the small stuff in your business today?

Photo by Uri Baruchin (Flickr).