A Springtime Check-Up to Keep Your Business Healthy
March 29, 2016
Spring is an excellent time to evaluate our progress and move forward on goal attainment, while reflecting on how our actions and leadership are impacting our business and applied faith.
To help with your self-assessment, The C12 Group has developed the 10-Point Check-Up — a 10-question analysis designed to provide useful information to prompt the proactive decisions necessary to stay ahead of the curve.
- How happy are key customers? How do you know? Most of us receive 80% of our business from 20% of our customers. If these key customers are displeased with us, this likely points to serious problems that need to be addressed. Are your key customers ecstatic or are they ready to jump ship?
- Is employee turnover too high? Are you losing too many people, especially key players? Employee turnover can relate to many variables and have a myriad of root causes that need to be addressed. What are the sources of dissatisfaction from employees feedback and by conducting exit interviews? Compensation and performance management approaches may need to be changed, and some managers may need to be trained or replaced. If employees rarely stay long enough to become vested in anything, your company’s future may be hampered!
- What is your rate of adding new business? Are you gaining or losing market share? If your marketing, R&D, and sales efforts are healthy, you should be gaining share over time. Are you growing above the rate of your industry and markets? If not, examine the reasons why.
- How effective are your communications? Are your meetings and announcements boring and unproductive? Do the same mistakes seem to happen over and over again? Are you paying too much for rework on items that should have been done right the first time? Are your team members are armed with the right information at the right time?
- Are your goals clear, and do they support your vision? Can your employees recite your Mission Statement, and do they use it to make decisions in the business? Obtaining “buy-in” to your vision, goals, and core values is a leadership function. Employees need to feel like they are part of a team – like they are gaining something more than a paycheck. If you were hosting your best customer and asked an employee to share your company vision, goals, or core values, how confident would you be in their answer?
- Does your compensation system support your desired culture? Do you pay for performance or for simply putting in time? Is your compensation strategy an integral part of your corporate strategy? Are your employees better informed, higher performing, and paid well in comparison to your competitors’ employees in similar positions?
- Are your direct reports working too many hours? Are you? Overworked and overextended staff make for mistakes and compromised home lives. This “out of control” condition is generally indicative of other issues and a predictor of future problems. If you and your team average no more than 45-50 hours of work per week, you are doing well. If you average more than 60 hours per week, it’s time to reevaluate workflows, staffing, and effectiveness.
- Are your financial reports current, reliable, and broadly useful in operational decision-making? Do your team members access to the reports and data they need to perform responsively, and do they understand their critical metrics? Managing a business without relevant and reliable financial information, or not interacting accountably with your team, can be unnecessarily costly.
- Have your recent projects and initiatives been successful? Whether entering new markets, installing a new compensation system, making changes to improve processes and procedures, or instilling a healthy workplace culture, have your efforts consistently borne fruit and been executed “to plan”? If your latest efforts to introduce changes have fallen short, you may need to take a hard look at the process that you are using to initiate, support, and track the effort. If two of your last three initiatives have gone well, great!
- Are you introducing new products or innovations faster than your strongest competitors? No business position, product, or service can afford to remain static for too long in today’s rapidly changing economic climate. How do you measure up to the standard in your area or market niche today? To remain competitive and growing in today’s marketplace, your offerings must be continually sharpened, enhanced, and expanded.
Well, how did you do? If your answers to these 10 questions indicate you are doing a great job, congratulations! But remember — don’t become complacent, because change is always around the corner. If you need advice, expert tips, and accountability for process improvement, contact The C12 Group for help across any of these key business areas and much more!
Want to learn more about Building a Great Business for a Greater Purpose? Download our free eBook, C12’s Strategic Business Planning Guide. At The C12 Group, we are focused on equipping members to be faithful stewards of the businesses Christ has called them to lead.