Coach Roger’s 9 Question Business Checkup

Just like your body, your business needs to undergo regular checkups to ensure peak performance.  Whether your business is large or small, you must review the overall health of your business at least once every year.

Here are 9 questions you should answer for your “Business Checkup”

  • How do your year-to-date sales compare to those from the last couple of years?  Don’t be satisfied if you managed to match prior years’ sales; because, if sales have stayed the same, then you’ve achieved zero growth.   Given the impact of inflation, this flat growth line is a warning sign for more trouble down the road.
  • What  percentage of your business is from repeat customers? This is important to know because the estimated cost of getting a new customer versus retaining an existing one can be as much as five to one.
  • How long has it been since you offered a new product or service?  Loyal customers like to see you changing and progressing with the times.  If
    you’re stuck for an idea, ask your customers what they need.
  • Have you evaluated your marketing and advertising expenses?  How you look at the money spent in these areas affects your willingness to spend money at all.  Would you look at prescriptions as a waste of money?  Marketing is really about investing in you, your vision, and your company.  The old adage that you must spend money  to make money is true; but you must spend it wisely.  Spend it on ads that are pulling responses and orders; and, if they’re not, maybe you need to change tactics.
  • Do you  know what PR is and how to use it to positively position your business in  the media?  I’ll bet that at least one of your competitors does.
    Nearly every mention of a company or business in the newspapers and magazines is a direct result of publicity efforts.  Being quoted or featured in an article speaks volumes to your clients and readers; who are your potential prospects.  A good PR consultant can do that for you, and show you ways to extend the shelf life of that publicity beyond its publication.
  • Do you do anything special for your regular customers?  You should.  If your customers don’t feel special when coming to you for products of services, why should they remain loyal to you?  Have a customer appreciation day or a special invitation only sale for your regulars.  Create a mailing list of your regulars.  Send occasional post cards or greeting cards for special events or just to keep in touch.  Learn to recognize them on sight and greet them by name when they visit you.
  • How long has it been since you really talked to one of your customers?  Just as you appreciate when your Doctor takes time to talk to you, your customers will appreciate you if you take an interest in their needs.  If you have a service business; have lunch or coffee periodically with some regulars – even if they only contact you once or twice a year.  The personal touch in an impersonal world will be remembered.
  • How is your business doing compared to your competition?  Every company, no matter what the size, has competition – even home-based businesses.  Is their business growing or downsizing? Is their pricing or service better than yours?  If so, what can you tell potential customers about the price difference?  Think about how you can improve your service to meet or exceed your customers’ expectations.
  • Are your employees happy?  Don’t ask them directly; but observe them throughout the day.  Watch, listen and learn.  Employees who like their jobs don’t
    watch the clock for quitting time, aren’t habitually late, don’t have poor body language, don’t spend time on personal phone calls, and don’t look like they never smiled.  Observe how they interact with customers.  Be aware that not everyone is a match for direct contact with the public; so make sure you don’t have an employee who is driving business away.

In the end, you must give your business “regular checkups” to make sure it lives a long, healthy life!

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