Are you smarter today than you were on January 1 a year ago?
- When you consciously look at what’s worked well and what hasn’t, experience really can be a great teacher.
a. What are the five lessons you learned this year that will help make your business more successful in the future?
- It’s easy to do what you’ve always done, whether it helps your business run better or not.
a. Think about the major products, services, internal tasks or other activities your business started, stopped, or streamlined this year.
b. Can you point to the revenue, cost, or productivity benefits that you got by making these changes?
- Are you effectively and actively managing your business results?
a. List the key financial and operational indicators that help predict how your business will do in the future.
b. Did you look at these indicators every month during the last year?
c. What actions did your business take as a result?
Did your business serve customers better during the past year?
- We bet you started out the year with lots of ideas to improve your products and services.
a. Think about your team’s five best ideas.
b. How many of these ideas are in place today?
- We always emphasize the importance of really listening to customers and clients.
a. How many of your customers did you really talk intently with this year?
b. Did you implement or improve a formal customer advisory board or other feedback process?
c. What actions did your business take based on what you heard?
- Analyzing lost customer opportunities is painful, yet instructive
a. Think about the customers you were most disappointed to lose this year.
b. For each one, why did they choose to stop buying from your business?
c. How will your business avoid more losses like these in the year ahead?
Is your business on a stronger footing than it was on January 1 a year ago?
- Many businesses underutilize a tremendous asset – their employees.
a. How often did you let staffers know how the business is performing?
b. How often did you consciously get their input, ideas and feedback?
c. How often did you tell them what you did with their ideas and input?
- We know budgets aren’t fun. We know it’s stressful to talk to problem employees. But every aspect of your business needs attention – not just the parts you enjoy most.
a. Think about the three to five areas of your business that you least enjoy.
b. How did you do during the past year in these areas? Did you balance your attention between these areas and the more enjoyable ones?
- Building a business that can work without your constant personal involvement is critical if you want to build a business that can last.
a. Have you strengthened your staff and other professional relationships so that you can spend more personal time or focus on big-picture business interests without jeopardizing your existing business?
How’s your work-life balance compared to January 1 a year ago?
- Renewal’s not just for your customers – it’s for business owners and managers as well.
a. List your most important personal relationships.
b. How well did you keep your promises to these individuals…whether it’s picking family members up on time or doing your share of the household chores?
- It’s not enough to make money – your business has to stay true to your personal vision as well.
a. Are you satisfied with “where you’re at”?
- Being a good neighbor matters.
a. How visible are your footprints in your community — whether it’s mentoring others, joining in church activities, civic organizations, or other activities that strengthen the communities we share?
Have you set your priorities for the upcoming year?
- Success has two parts – what you do, and what you don’t do.
a. How well do your business priorities reflect your top three to five opportunities in the year ahead?
How well do your business priorities reflect your top three to five business risks or exposures in the year ahead?
c. What will you stop doing, or do differently, to free up time and money to tackle these opportunities and risks?