To get anywhere you have to start heading in the right direction and to build anything, you must have a firm foundation. Makes sense, right? Then why do so many young entrepreneurs and startup businesses pay so little attention to key early metrics when they’re just getting started? Is it hubris? Do we think “it can’t happen to me” so we ignore the facts? Who knows. What we can know is whether or not we’re being honest with ourselves as we build our businesses. Have we addressed these concerns, and are we building our dreams in such a way that they continue to grow in these areas? Here are a few questions to help inspire that result.
Where are your focus and your passion? This isn’t a question related to “are you doing what you love?” The idea here is, are you fully engaged in what you’re doing every day, or are you distracted by other opportunities, unrelated concerns, and nagging questions? If you’re not all in and totally focused, you can bet at least one of your competitors is.
Is what you do with your day driving sales or making work? One of the best questions every entrepreneur needs to consistently ask is this: am I doing what makes me money, or am I just doing stuff? The less “other stuff” you do, the better you will be. Yes, you need to be working on building the business, but, first and foremost, you need to be actively engaged in doing what makes you money. That doesn’t mean doing the work yourself, but it does mean staying engaged with the people and the systems that do.
Are you missing out on a profit center because you are unwilling to bend? Sure, a working system is a great thing, but is that system artificially putting a cap on your income? Are there areas of your business you could monetize that you just … don’t? How is your focus on retention and customer engagement? We all know that getting repeat customers is cheaper and more profitable than winning new customers, so why do we place so little emphasis on keeping those customers happy, and why don’t we put more effort into turning them into contagious fans?
Have we figured out what we don’t do well, so we can outsource it or stop doing it altogether? If you are offering services you aren’t any good at, you may want to reconsider that. Doing more of what you’re best at and less of what creates issues and customer complaints is rarely a bad idea.