Maintaining relevance in a fast-paced landscape is a challenge that many Business Owners and their management team face.
The most successful Business Owners, and leaders, are often those that constantly ask themselves the tough questions, which help them to accurately gauge their own performance and that of their company.
Are you confident about your organisation’s prospects for growth over the next 3 to 5 years? Is this confidence well deserved?
Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you to grow your business:
1. Is my business sustainable?
Developing a sustainable business model is crucial, and there are a number of factors that contribute to whether or not an organisation is likely to experience long-term success.
The marketplace evolves swiftly and Business Owners and their Executive must consider how quickly the trends of tomorrow will impact their operations, and if the enterprise is ready for such change.
2. Are we hiring and retaining key staff?
In our experience in dealing with privately held businesses, one of the most common critical issues faced is the lack of quality people to manage and run the business.
Business Owners must frequently ask themselves if current hiring practices are succeeding at attracting high-quality candidates. If so, are these employees remaining with the company over the long term?
What is your attraction and retention policy?
3. Are we listening to our customers?
The internet and social media have changed the way brands and customers interact, with people now having more of a voice than ever before.
Companies can’t simply advertise to consumers and expect them to buy; they need to create personalised, integrated purchasing experiences across multiple touchpoints.
Corporate social responsibility is also becoming increasingly important to customers, as more people focus on the ethics and environmental impact of businesses.
Listening to what consumers want is an important part of developing new innovations and helps keep customers loyal.
4. Is our strategy in line with stakeholder expectations?
Businesses must align their corporate strategies with stakeholder expectations as closely as possible. Improving transparency is one way of achieving this.
Business owners must be willing to share their stories regarding change, risk and growth to build trust among investors, employees, customers and partners.
Are you offering your stakeholders the information they really need, in a way that will truly reshape their view of your business?
Are you sharing with them the most meaningful changes your company is undertaking, or the risks that are having the biggest impact on your growth strategy?
5. What can we learn from other companies?
Look around you. How is the business next door managing its supply chain? How are our suppliers engaging (or not engaging) you to buy more? How are your peers using technology to create efficiencies?
Even the world’s biggest multinational businesses can learn valuable insights and knowledge from other organisations, particularly those that are industry leaders in their market.
6. Why are we doing this?
One of the simplest questions Business Owners must regularly ask themselves is “why is the company doing what it’s currently doing?” However, this can often be a difficult question to answer.
Business Owners must have a comprehensive understanding of their mission, which should be backed up by a clear vision and objective targets.
Key performance indicators can help businesses keep track of various strategies, but there must be a clearly understood purpose to the business that remains relevant in today’s market.
Business Owners that ask themselves the above questions on a regular basis are more likely to benefit from flexibility in their business processes, increased agility and a focus on innovation.
However, businesses that fail to continuously evaluate their performance in the market could find they quickly become irrelevant as rivals gain a competitive edge.
At Whitehawk Advisors we assist Business Owners develop, communicate, and implement Strategic Growth Plans for the business. We also work with Business Owners and their management teams to ensure that they remain focussed to deliver to the goals set.