I don’t often write these newsletters as lists but I had some questions swirling around in my head the other morning so I thought I would take the opportunity to share them with my readers.
- Ask yourself, are my employees truly motivated when they come in the door? Better yet, talk to your employees about this topic and find out what it would take to get them there. Is it pay, feeling like an owner, responsibility, flexibility, or something else? The answers might surprise you.
- What is the most common customer complaint about your company or in your industry? Solve it! And then let your customers know that you’ve done so by both telling them and demonstrating it every day. Sooner or later, they’ll start to tell others!
- How do customers value your product or service? In other words, why are they willing to pay you? Maybe you deliver a true commodity, in which case you need to focus on operational excellence to keep costs down and profits up. But consider whether there is a way to differentiate that commodity. Before you say “no”, think of how much energy has been spent differentiating H2 Or perhaps you have a unique offering and do have the opportunity to think creatively about the relationship between value and price. How can you leverage that opportunity?
- Where do you see your business in three, five or ten years? Have you committed time recently to thinking about the future or is next year going to essentially be a repeat of the current year? What can you do differently to start to move toward your longer-term goals?
- What differentiates you from your competition? Why do people choose to do business with you over someone else? How can you leverage that for greater benefit?
- If you could change one thing about your business what would it be? Spend a morning with a few key people (employees, colleagues, your board, etc.) brainstorming about how to change it. Don’t filter your ideas by focusing on what may or may not be practical (come back to that another time); just let the ideas flow.
- What’s the most profitable year your business has ever had and what would it take to make next year even more profitable?
- If you could change one thing about your customer, what would it be? This might be another brainstorming session. Maybe there is absolutely no way to change the customer but wouldn’t it be fun to think about it for a bit?
- What’s that one thing you’ve tried to accomplish and failed to achieve? Maybe obtaining a marque client you’ve always wanted, hiring a high caliber employee, or launching a new product/service line? Assuming you can afford the pure economic cost of failure (which may not be that great), what have you got to lose by giving it another shot?
- Do you still have the passion for your business that you once did, or have you lost your drive? Do you need to change what you do, or can you find a way to regain your original enthusiasm? Do you need a complete re-boot? Some time away? What would it take?
I hope that one of these questions provides the motivation to act!
If your business could benefit from fractional CFO services, I would welcome the chance to speak with you. Please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to [email protected]
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