Invenio: Coaching and Mentoring April 2016 - Growth - Page 56

Small Business

Growth Quiz

(7 market focused questions you must ask to help you grow)

Tony Kubica

Stop thinking like a small  business  owner...  here are 7 Questions to think about and respond to when planning for  Business  Growth.

There is a lot of attention directed at small businesses this year. President Obama talked about the need to help and support small businesses in his State of the Union address. And one outcome was the launch of Startup America. Also, states are talking about easing regulations and the tax burden on small businesses in their quest to reduce unemployment. 

Is this the year of the small business?  Possibly. 

Is this an opportunity for you as a small business owner? Maybe. 

Now, a Warning to  Small  Business  Owners ...

As a small business owner, however, it is not a good strategy to hope that the federal or state governments will pass the right legislation and write regulations, which will help you succeed in the next 12 months. Hope may spring eternal, but it is not a good business strategy.

Be wary of generalizations about how the economy is doing: who the winners are and who the losers are or will be. It's distracting and frankly, it's filled with conflicting information. 

It's like trying to decide on what is the best way to add 10 years to your life. You would be correct if you said – it depends on whom you ask. A dietician will tell you to focus on good nutrition. A trainer will tell you to exercise and use protein supplements. Some physicians would say hormone therapy. As the adage goes: when all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.

Yes, we'll admit that the economy is showing signs

signs of recovery, but the real question is... whether it's showing signs of recovery for you and your business. To answer this question you need to stop thinking like a small business owner and start thinking that you are running a multi-million dollar enterprise. Why, because many small business owners tend to think like a small company. And the answer to growth is to think big.

Here Are 7 Questions to Think About and Respond to When Planning for Business Growth:

1.  Do you have a strategic vision that outlines your business direction for the next 12 – 24 months? And if you have employees, do they know it?

2.  What is your stated mission (or purpose)statement? How is it communicated to your employees, and how does it help drive business decisions?

3.  Do you have stated, written and practiced company values to align how you and your employees work together and serve your customers?

4.  Do you have a  branding  strategy  that promotes how you want to be seen by prospects and clients and articulates your  competitive advantage  or differentiation from your competitors?

5.  Do you have standard monthly financial reports to track the financial health of your business and to help drive your decisions?

6.  Do you have outstanding customer service? If you can't answer based on your customer's feedback, loyalty, references and testimonials – your answer is not yet.

7.  Do you have an exit strategy for your business? Every  business  needs  to have a sense of what the end game will look like. It drives growth and helps focus business decisions.