2009 has been a year of serious contemplation by most business owners. I see this past year as a year of repositioning. Repositioning in business can mean different things to different people. Here are some different areas that businesses have been reviewing:
1. Do you have the best clients?
Reevaluating your client list is probably the first thing to look at when planning your future year. Your marketing plan should focus on the best client fit for you. If the current client list does not fit your focus, think about whether or not you should keep particular clients. Follow the 80/20 rule in these matters. If 80% of your stress comes from 20% of a particular client then reevaluate whether keeping them is worth the trouble. You will need room for the new clients coming in 2010.
2. Are your products and services the best out there? If not, what should you do to improve?
Take a step back and ask a few of your valued customers. They are sure to be honest and will give you some insight into your business. Look at the services that produce the most return on their investment and focus on those. How do you know which products and services are doing the best? Financial analysis or reviewing your books for that information is the easiest and most efficient way.
3. Are you losing time on different projects? Are we missing critical moments that are costing the company money and time?
Review current systems to see if there are inefficiencies. Flowchart them or put them on a piece of paper and then tear the system apart. Bring your team in to evaluate them with you. You never know what ideas will come out of this analysis that could save you thousands of dollars.
4. Have you evaluated your strengths and weaknesses, opportunity and threats?
It’s called a SWOT analysis. This analysis can help you decide on which areas need to be focused on most. This should be done at least once a year.
5. Are you totally lost at this point and feeling all alone? Do you have so many issues you don’t know where to begin?
You need a business coach to help you get through the hard stuff. Business or Executive Coaching is a great way to keep business owners motivated and moving. They keep you accountable for making progress and can give you tons of helpful hints, ideas and development opportunities.
In 2010, businesses that do the hard work now will definitely reap the benefits and will be more successful. Ultimately, you will have to ask a lot of questions of yourself and others before you can have a realistic view of the future. Your bookkeeping and financial records can answer the important ones that matter most. If you’re confused how they can help or don’t know where to begin, please give us a call. We can help.