Five questions every business owner should be asking
Business Coach Rob Carter highlights five questions every business owners should be asking.
What legacy do I want to leave?
The famous phrase goes “We’re a long time working and an even longer time dead” so what is it you want to be remembered for?
We can all go and earn money however we choose to do so, so why this?
If you’re expecting a quick answer to this one then you’ll be disappointed because for most of us it’s a really difficult question to answer.
Truly great companies survive their owners because they have focused in on working out what the business legacy will be.
What are the key numbers in our business that will drive it forward?
It’s not just about sales and profit but there’s some other numbers that you might find really drive your business forward.
They might relate to market penetration, staff turnover, stock turn, return on investment, error rate, wastage, wages etc.
Less is more so if you can really drill down into the key performance indicators that count then you will really see the benefits.
Your clarity will improve not only you but also for the people around you whether they be employees, suppliers or customers.
What do we do that makes us different from all the rest?
We’re in an ever changing and very competitive market place so you need to stand out from the crowd by doing things that your competitors don’t and that have a perceived value to your target market.
Failure to do this is likely for you to be gravitating towards selling on price and none of us like that as it means lots of work for no money!
You deserve more than that so get thinking about what your customers want that they don’t get.
How will we make our target market aware of what the great things that we offer?
This is your decision. I’ve met loads of ‘potentially great companies’ that have unique offerings that the world hasn’t heard of yet.
Don’t make your company the ‘Best Kept Secret’ – get clear about who your target market is, where you can find them in their biggest concentration and how you will make them aware of the amazing things that you do.
This forms the guts of your marketing plan that requires discipline and process to make happen.
What is the culture that we want to promote in our business?
I talk to lots of business owners that are very introspective because they are battling with managing their workforce to the way that they want them to work.
Every game of sport has a set of rules that the players work within (sometimes!) – you need the same in your business.
Decide what culture you want to create and what the key rules of the game are within that.
Before you go, there is a bonus question…
How can I make myself indispensable to my business?
If you don’t answer this question and don’t have a plan about how you will operate when you are no longer the sole decision maker then it’s likely that you won’t get around to running your business in a way that sees you less involved.
What systems will you need, what will the organisational chart look like in five years time and how will the key managers report to you.
Start to create that vacuum – it’s amazing what can happen as a result.
Good luck with answering these questions. Invest some time with your team in finding the answers and keep reminding yourselves what you are doing and why on a daily basis.
The gravitational pull towards your goals will be stronger than the pull of the day-to-day challenges.