There’s an age-old saying in the business world: “What got you here, won’t get you there.” It relates to the continued search for how to take your business, yourself and your ideas to the next level.
When running a business it is normal to find yourself continuously inundated with the daily grind. That can be enough to keep any person busy for 12 hours a day.
However, if you do want to end up “there,” it is important that you not only do the right things day in and day out, but that you also ask the right business questions; of yourself, your customers, employees and everyone else in the value chain.
8 Business Questions
If you want to take your company to the next level, begin by asking yourself these eight business questions early and often:
- What are we best at? It is surprising how many companies don’t truly know their core competency, or haven’t reflected on how it has changed over the past several years. This is critical to your business model and your success.
- Who is our competition? Beyond just the obvious, are you aware of who your competitors are?
- How is the competitive landscape changing? Are the competitors you’re identifying only those from the industry? How have new products, services and alternative offerings changed your competitive position in the market?
- What do we do better than the competition? Do you know what truly makes your organization different? Equal doesn’t cut it anymore. What is your “differentiator”?
- What does our competition do better than us? Every organization has a weakness. Do you know yours?
- What change is sweeping the industry? Shift happens. Do you see the change that will have the biggest impact on your organization?
- How do we prepare for and handle change? It is great to recognize the change. How do you handle it while making sure to keep everyone motivated and business prosperous?
- What is next? This is perhaps the most important question of all.
Whether it is in the sales process, or in the planning process, we have to focus on asking the right people the right business questions. Without taking the time to figure out what will get you “there,” you will find yourself stuck at “here.” If you are going to operate in neutral, you may as well just floor it in reverse.