In a series of short articles we’ll look at what it takes to grow your business.
Define exactly where you are now – warts and all
First a warning !! – This crucial step is so often overlooked.
Without knowing your starting point, you don’t know what your path to success looks like. It sounds obvious, but many business owners plan for the future without fully understanding where they are now.
Also consider this….
If you don’t know where you’re going how will you know when you get there ?
OK, so lets get started.
Answer the following questions honestly to help define where you are now (warts and all):
1. How aligned are the owners / leaders of your business?
If asked independently, would the leaders have the same vision for the business? You all need to be aligned ahead of preparing any plan.
2. What activities are generating your current results?
It’s not just about the sales numbers, but the activities driving your results. Consider the number of leads you’re generating, your proposal or quote conversion rate, average sales value, etc. It’s essential to know these numbers now so you can improve them. Sometimes you might hear them being called Key Performance Indicators or KPI’s.
3. How engaged is the team to deliver your vision?
Businesses with a great culture and an engaged team significantly outperform those without. Your team needs to understand how their roles contribute to the overall vision for the business. Without the team on board, you won’t achieve leverage.
But then again perhaps it’s just you and you are the team.
4. How appropriate are your measurement and reporting systems?
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Review the systems you use to measure your results. Do they provide accurate and useful information? The decisions you make are only as good as the information they’re based on.
5. What are your five biggest vulnerabilities or challenges right now?
What keeps you awake at night? Is there new legislation that could impact operations? Are your systems robust? Do you struggle with keeping up with the business records? Or perhaps you have high team turnover? Perhaps you haven’t thought about how you will exit from the the business, built a succession plan or maybe you have a weak Balance Sheet?
Take the time to define where your business is at now. Be honest and identify the weaknesses in your business so you can take steps to improve.
Skip this step at your peril!
Now, we realise answering these questions can be quite daunting so why not get in touch and we’ll help. Get in touch!
“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” – Chris Grosser
In the next part, part four we will look at why you need to have a plan