Are you being transparent with yourself about your business results?
Are you seeing it like it is, or are you painting a rosy picture to make yourself feel better about spending so much time on social media, time which, if you are perfectly honest with yourself, may not have added anything to your business bottom-line?
Have you’ve already done your strategic planning for the rest of the year?
Unless you take an honest look at what has worked for you in the past, what didn’t work (and more importantly) the “why”, your planning for the future will be out of sync with accomplishing your future goals and meeting your objectives by year end.
Here are five questions to ask when you decide to do a “Reality Check”
1. How do you rate your customer engagement?
This question can be taken several ways. Are you having positive or negative conversations with your clients or customers? Is more of your engagement positive? What percentage of clients that started doing business during the year, two years are still with you, and will they continue with you? This can also be the loyalty ingredient; are your existing customers recommending you? How many recommendations do you get? Has this volume increased over the year? Has it decreased?
Why is your customer engagement increasing, or decreasing, and what do you attribute this to? Find out! Then plan more/less of the same in your current business strategy focus.
2. Are you getting your just desserts?
Are your marketing, PR and social media efforts paying off? Is your social media focus adding to your bottom line? Can you actually measure what is working and what is not? Is your payback only equal to your efforts, or are you in fact making a profit? Even the time you spend marketing on social media should be included in the cost of selling, because what many people fail to acknowledge is that your time on social media is not free!
You spent 120 hours on twitter, FB and G+ in a particular month, and you made a $2500 sale to someone you met on one of your social platforms. That’s just over $20 an hour; is that what your time is worth, MBA and all?
3. Are you meeting your customer’s needs?
Your customer’s needs may have changed over the past year or even months, were you able to flex with them?
Even more to the point, are you still solving your customer’s problems or pain points? Customer development never stops.
4. What do you need to change and why?
How many of you will answer, “I don’t need to change anything”? Probably not many, as in today’s rapidly changing business environment, those who can flex the fastest to meet their customers changing needs are the ones still in business, making money and loving every minute of it!
Your ongoing success comes down to pinpointing what needs to be changed and why.
5. Do you love or hate your business?
I often hear”I love my business but it’s getting harder and harder to deal with my customers”, or “it’s getting harder and harder to keep my customers”, or “harder and harder to find my customers”!
What does that tell you? Maybe the business you first started is not the same one you are engaged in now; either because your focus has changed, or your customer’s focus has changed. Perhaps it’s time for (another) complete business reality check!
When I’ve implemented a reality check, I most often uncover key elements, which are very helpful in designing my strategy for the future. Some of the decisions to be made moving forward are no so easy, however there is no time like the present to delete the old and get on with something new.