Step Back – Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Ask the right questions – what needs improvement, becomes increasingly important during economic uncertainty. Knowing which moves helped you win the game of business is your play back of what worked for you. It allows you to look backward to the extent required to give you a proper perspective on the present.

Analyzing each situation prior to setting results, strategies and actions is critical for generating or sustaining competitive advantages, especially when facing this dynamic environmental trend which can affect your business performance positively or negatively. Your main task is to explore the outside factors (that can imply what opportunities you should seize and what threats you have to pay attention to) and internal factors (that can tell what you can do to leverage your strengths and weaknesses).

A situation analysis basically answers the question “Where is the business now?”  Or details the current state of affairs.  It is necessary in performing an analysis to look backward to the extent required to give you a proper perspective on the present, taking into consideration opportunities, objectives, proposed strategies and profit and loss considerations.

Some of the information for the analysis is gathered from good record keeping, tracking of marketing results and bottom line measurements. Just as the game of Chess is a game of strategy requiring review of each move, your every move forward or backward needs to be checked.

Knowing the answers requires good systems for staying focused on the high priority, high payoff areas. Did you make the right move? Or did you move your focus? Are there opportunities for out-sourcing or additional personnel?  The Game of Business is about crafting clear effective strategies. Just like each piece on the chess board has specific moves that helps define the strategy of your game.

In marketing your analysis will help you determine whether your strategies have played to the intended customer, what worked; how where they reached? What is the position or image for your product and/or service?

Do you keep good Metrics and Measurements that give you the facts and help you stay accountable?

What are your critical numbers? These numbers tell you what is going on. Do you make decisions based on complete knowledge and hard facts.

If your business is profitable and you are managing the money well, then you are in a power position. You will more likely see what is high pay off, high priority when you can see the numbers and get honest feedback to foster improvement. Measuring performance is a continuous learning process of improvement moving you to “mastering” your game.

Are you delegating tasks that allow you to work on important areas of the   business?

As your business grows, your functional responsibilities normally grow past the point where you can cope with all the duties which must be handled.  As this process of growth occurs, you must begin to delegate specific duties to insure that all necessary tasks are carried out.  This means hiring someone on a full or part time basis and properly training them. It is important to have performance guidelines with proper follow up procedures for the delegated assignments. In some instances people who do outside services can take up the slack.

The Game fails only those who quit. Leadership demands values and vision that can steer the business and give it a sense of direction. Every game requires goals, good decision making and a set of standards and fair play. Your strengths and weaknesses must be looked at so you can build on the successes and learn from the mistakes.

Study how you are playing the game; make every move do what it is supposed to do. There is hope in progress, if you are looking and questioning your targeted moves.
“All growth, maturity, prosperity and goal achievement is about getting to the other side.” Gary Ryan Blair

The Challenge:  See things a bit differently…and start doing different things so that you enjoy and experience what’s waiting for you on the other side…whatever that “other side” may mean to you.