As the owner of a small-to-medium size business, chances are good that you already spend some time answering countless questions every single day from employees, suppliers, customers, and prospects. The issue here is this-how much time to you spend asking YOURSELF questions about YOUR business?
According to the Harvard Business Review, “companies often fail to address the tough questions about strategy and execution…are we really clear…about how we choose to create value in the marketplace?” For example, “Can we articulate the few things the organization needs to do better than anyone else in order to deliver on that value proposition?”
Barry Moltz of the Shafran Moltz Group explains that both entrepreneurs and business veterans alike should be asking themselves specific, tough questions in order to both analyze and improve their work, including these five essentials:
1. What Problem Does Your Business Solve?
While this seems like an easy question at first glance, many business owners struggle to define exactly what the answer is simply because it’s not uncommon for businesses to be launched based on what the founder wants, not the customer. Think about the ‘why’ involved-why do your clients and customers choose to purchase goods and services from you?
2. Are There Aspects Of Your Business That Are Loosing Money?
While you likely know exactly what your bottom line is each month, quarter, or year, do you really know the ins and outs of where that revenue is coming from?
3. What’s Your Customer Retention Rate?
Knowing where your customers come from is a critical part of your overall success, since it’s far more costly to recruit new clients than it is to keep existing ones.
4. What Differentiates My Business From The Competition?
Establishing, and maintaining a competitive advantage is crucial to the success of small businesses-what’s yours?
5. Can My Business Survive Without Me?
While nobody likes to think about the possibility that they may not be able to manage their business due to injury, illness, or worse, the reality is that there may come a time when your role within your business needs to shift unexpectedly. If that happens, can your business survive?
The questions offered here are crucial questions that any business owner should ask themselves throughout the year. It’s an important practice in refreshing the outlook for yourself and your business.