Your Business Checkup

Whether it be spring cleaning or time for an annual checkup, your business needs to undergo a checkup each year.  No matter how big or small it is you cannot gauge the effectiveness of any changes made without analyzing your benefits and the bottom line.

Here are 9 questions to help you get started:

Business checkup1.   How do year-to-date sales compare with past years?  If you match them, then you haven’t gained any growth. Zero growth coupled with inflation is an omen for potential disaster.

2.  How much of your business comes from repeat customers?  If the percentage is too low, then you need to  improve it.  Acquisition is much more costly than retention as much as a 5:1 ratio.Maintaining your current customer base is much more cost-effective than obtaining new ones.

3.  When was the last time you had a product launch?  Your customers expect to see you keeping current.  Sending  a survey to ask them what they want is a great way to get feedback.

4.  Is marketing an expense or an investment for you?  This is important because it can affect your willingness to spend at all.  Marketing shows the investment made in yourself, as well your company mission.   You need to spend your money wisely so that customers continue to buy from you.  If it isn’t, your marketing strategy needs to be reworked to achieve this.

5.  Are you familiar with PR and the proper way to use it?  Even one mention of a company , whether it be yours or your competition, builds your reputation and trust.  It is recommended that you hire one who is knowledgeable.

6.  Are you listed in online directories?  Even one listing builds your reputation.  You need to research which ones are appropriate for your industry and submit your information. Even if you need to pay to join, one customer alone could offset the cost.  There are also printed directories as well.  Ask your colleagues or do a google search to find them.

7.  How does your business stack up against the competition?  You need to monitor them as well so you can adapt your strategy  to whatever areas need improvement. You want to always be maintaining your customers and not lose them.

8.  Is there a high level of employee satisfaction?  You need to observe their behavior both emotionally and towards the customers.  If they are always complaining, show up late or have poor interaction with customers, then you may need to remove them from the job.

9.  Do you smile on the phone?  For reasons unknown, speaking to customers on the phone with a smile has shown to increase positive interaction with the client.

Just as your physician performs a check-up on you and diagnoses any issues, you as a business owner need to perform a checkup on your business. Identify your weaknesses and change things that need to be changed. Using the answers to the questions above to tweak and improve your business will ensure that it will continue to grow and remain relevant.

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