Assessing Your Business
Have you ever wondered while in the process of running your company, whether there are areas which could be improved? Some of you reading this article are running your own business and are doing very well. Then there are others who are having some challenges with certain areas of their business and can’t quite pin point the causes which are giving them the current results. Taking stock of what is going on in the business is critical to know if you are hitting your targets or need to clean up some areas to allow for further growth and expansion. Doing periodic business assessments is critical. It’s just as important as reviewing and revising your business plan on a regular basis. Taking it a step further to include an assessment of your business image helps you protect the reputation and image of the company.
So what types of things do you need to review and examine when assessing your business? Understanding why you created the company in the first place – the purpose, vision and mission is critical to ensure what you deliver in the way of products and services is in alignment. Every business has successes and failures. Taking stock and examining the causes for the results is critical. If there are ongoing challenges, then there is something serious to look at and address.
You’ve heard of the SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. When done properly, you get a better understanding of all areas of the company and how they are operating, including the staff and you at the helm. But if you aren’t a big picture thinker, then it’s time to get help and to stretch yourself. Without the ability to think big, you’ll miss out on the opportunities around you and won’t be able to position yourself correctly to take advantage of them. And without sufficient business experience you may not be able to see potential threats and position yourself in such a way that you and the company are well protected.
A growing company needs a team and your team of advisors should include a reputable accountant, business lawyer, tax specialists, business consultant who understands marketing and business image, an insurance advisor including coverage for the key staff. You are investing in a company and since you and your staff are trading their precious time, energy, knowledge and skill for a salary to help grow this enterprise, let’s ensure it makes money and is well protected.
The business plan, goals, policy and procedure manuals are important. It’s the system, the plan and its execution that determines success. If something isn’t working, then these areas need to be tweaked.
Knowing your numbers is important to overall business success and the image. These key performance indicators ensure you are on track to generating the revenues and profits you desire. I liked math in school but didn’t realize when I first started my business how important the numbers were to ensure long term success. The numbers don’t lie. You need to know the most profitable and least profitable aspects of your business, and you need a strategy to increase your profits in the next 12 months. When you know what to track and why, the game becomes much easier to play.
Business success is dependent on knowledge and the execution of sales strategies and marketing strategies, lead generation, how to convert leads into sales. It’s important to know what problems your target market and customers are experiencing. Your goal is to position yourself as the expert, the one person or company who can solve their problems, ease their pain and make life a whole lot simpler and easier.
And then there is the follow up – customer service – that all important ongoing relationship with the one who gave you the cash to make their problems go away. Did you deliver? Did you just meet and did you exceed their expectations?
And how is the staff and the contractors contributing to the growth of your company and helping to reduce your stress? Are they performing to standard or could they be communicating more effectively or could they be working more efficiently as a team? Are their values in line with your values and the values of the company?
The success of the company is dependent upon the plan, the execution and the support you have from the right team members. It should also include the right strategic alliances and joint venture partners. If the business is struggling maybe it’s time for a complete reassessment of the business and a shift in the business image. The investment in a proper analysis will reveal what areas need to be tightened up.
Is your company bleeding? It’s hard to run a business when things are falling apart around you or you need to bandage the leaks or booboos. It requires time and attention, but investing in yourself and your company will help to ease your pain and give you many more well rested nights. Before you know it, you, your staff and clients will be smiling broadly and will be back raving about you. Now that’s the way to leave a great lasting impression!
This article is written by Debora Reynolds a well known Author, Speaker and Business Consultant.