I want you to take part in this exercise, this small business assessment to give yourself an idea of the areas that may need some work.
So, on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is ‘My business is not doing so great’ and 10 is ‘My small business is doing pretty great at the moment’, rate yourself on the following nine statements.
At that point, it would be best to focus on the areas that seem to be bringing you the most grief, build them up and see your business begin to soar.
I have a very clear vision and specific, actionable goals for my small business.
Of course this is the key part of every activity. Without goals, how will you know where you are going and what action to take to get there. Now, you may be of the idea that you just want to make as much money as possible and that is great. However, it would make sense to break your huge goal down into manageable chunks that you can implement.
My Marketing Strategy brings in a great number of prospects
Do you have a marketing loop that works day in, day out bringing your small business an abundance of leads? Do you take advantage of both online and offline strategies? Do you know what your marketing plan is, or is it based more on guesswork to decide what to do?
My Small Business does an amazing job converting prospects to customers.
Maybe you are the only sales person in your sales force in which case, you may want to consider working with freelance or employed salespeople in order to bring in more sales. What are your conversion ratios? Do you know? Do you measure where the leads arise from and how many of them convert into buying customers?
The Operations of my Small Business run smoothly
Are you great at delivering your product, your service, your invention? And most importantly, how do your customers feel about the speed and quality of customer service? Do your products get delivered on time? Are you inundated with requests and unable to fulfil them? Are you prepared to be inundated. Do you have a back up plan ready to kick in if it happens?
I have my cashflow under control.
Or maybe you are finding that though your business is active and you are making sales, somehow you never seem to have enough cash. Maybe your customers do not pay on time, you have a lot of stock which is not moving so cash is tied up there, or your business expenses seem to be pretty high.
My small business has amazing employees or contractors and I never have problems hiring the right people.
Or do you find yourself constantly firefighting? You cannot go anywhere without your phone because You know that your staff are not capable of dealing with concerns in your absence. Do you have an organisational chart or do you just pick people on a whim?
I have plenty of time away from work and feel well rested.
Or maybe you feel tired all the time? And there are days when you really cannot understand why you started this business anyway. There is a part of you that may want to return to paid employment. You are not eating properly because there just never seems to be enough time.
My relationships in and out of the business are supportive.
Or do you feel isolated from everyone as you try to build this business. Of course, some friends will drop off as you pursue financial success but do you have a support system in place so you are not alone? Do you work with a business coach or do you think it is unnecessary? Read This – http://www.inc.com/john-warrillow/why-you-and-your-business-need-a-coach.html
My customers are loyal to me and My small business stands out
Or maybe you find yourself competing on price all the time because there is nothing unique about you? (See this post on ‘Unique Selling Point‘) You so not offer any kind of guarantee because you are petrified of THOSE customers taking advantage of it? Customers only buy based on price and you think that is normal?
So how did you fare? Did your small business come out on top or is there a lot of room for improvement? It is never too late to turn things around, you just need determination and focus and you will, with support, double your business.