Chances are if you’re in small business, you’re pretty familiar the lengthy list of questions that come with the territory. How much to charge for a service? When to launch a new product? Whether to take on new staff? The list goes on and on.
But amidst the everyday operational queries that are asked and swiftly answered there are deeper questions that determine not only where you are now, but where you hope to be. Here are the four big questions of small business, and why it pays to know the answers.
It sounds simple but clearly defining your core reasons for being in business helps you map out your trajectory in the future and cements your position in the present. The answer to this question may span a number of areas; to earn a living, to work for myself, to provide the best product/ customer service, to fill a gap in the market.
These answers define your vision and mission statements that underpin the way you work. They also help you set goals for the future.
What is it you offer that is different, better or unique? What is it you hope to offer in the future, and what do you want your business to be; within your industry, for yourself, for your future?
The first question speaks to marketing, clarifying the position you presently hold and the customers you currently attract. It also enlightens you about who you should be looking to target, defining your niche and your demographic.
The second question is much broader. The answers here are about the things you hope to achieve professionally and personally, and these are the basis of one of the most critical elements of small business; goal setting. Goal setting allows you to shoot for the stars, imagine the impossible is feasible and chart your course to get there via a plan.
When will you launch that new product, when will you take on new staff, exit your business, or take a well-earned break? Again the answers here determine your goals, but they are also the basis for your all-important plan.
By answering the when, you set yourself targets to work to that free you up to concentrate on the next most important question, how?
Knowing how you get to where you want to go is the key to business success. Asking this question allows you nut out the fine details that make achieving the “what” and “when” possible. Then implementing it is all about strategy, planning, and process and procedure.
The final word
These four essential questions of business will be asked time and again throughout the life of your enterprise as the landscape of your endeavour and your personal aims alter and grow.
But by asking and answering them, you keep your business on track to attain the success you deserve.
This Article was written by: Clive Enever – The Business Mentor boasts over 30 years experience working with small business operators to set and achieve their goals. Using skills honed during three decades as a business coach, he works with clients to bring clarity to their business operation and achieve the work/life balance we each crave.
Whether business owners seek to increase their profits, improve sales results, streamline performance or develop staff, Clive can assist in the ‘spring-boarding’ of business success.