35 questions to generate ideas and opportunities for your business
One of my favourite mantras is Reflect, Revisit, Review and Refresh. But how do you do this effectively when it comes to your business?
First of all you need to do it thoroughly to make it worthwhile and, if summer is traditionally a quiet time for your business, it’s a great opportunity to do a bit of work on your business.
Secondly, I’m a big fan of getting back to basics with anything like this so ditch the software and screen and get yourself a giant piece of plain paper and some coloured pens.
You might want to start by clearing your mind. I find spending time in nature helps me with this, so I’ll often go for a dog walk before I do some planning. Whatever works for you, find a space that encourages creativity and relaxed thinking, grab a cuppa and settle in.
Start by looking back over your year:
What stands out? Which projects went especially well? Which areas of your business need to be tightened up or improved?
Next, assess your client base:
Who is noticeable as a great client? Who do you think you could be more proactive with? Who has gaps in what you provide for them? Can you fill those gaps? Is there an upselling opportunity?
Now to get into a little more detail:
What was it about the good things that were good? What needed improving because things didn’t run so well?
Jot down everything from facts and figures to feelings. They are all relevant as often our gut feel is the only thing we have to go on when making decisions. Have you got a client who is ideal on paper, but the chemistry isn’t there or you’re not getting the results you envisaged? Sometimes this is down to commitment from the client’s side so it’s worth trying to dig deeper and understand what’s missing. How can you bring out their enthusiasm? Could you explain things differently to them? Or is it just a mismatch and not worth the pain?
What’s the reality when it comes to your business? Times change and it’s important that your business reflects this. Do you need to review your ideal client avatars for example?
Consider your various income streams:
Which are working well? Which might need more promotion? Do your clients know about everything you can help them with? Which might need to drop off due to lack of interest or client needs changing?
Importantly, you also need to consider your pricing:
Is it right? Too high? Too low? Have some services evolved and therefore warrant a price review?
What actions do you now need to take? How will you convert these thoughts into changes for your systems and processes?
Are your client touch points right? Do they need updating as a result of your review?
What about your templated communications? Do you need to revise the wording of your terms and conditions or engagement emails?
Finally, turn around and look to the future: Do your goals need updating? Have you reached a place you thought you never would? Does this warrant new horizons and refreshed targets?
Is that everything? Have you missed anything?
It’s incredibly powerful – and important – to go through our businesses with a fine-toothed comb. Often, we are so caught up in delivery, we don’t remember those little lessons we learn along the way. I’m a huge fan of not reinventing the wheel so spending time capturing these thoughts and realisations and then transferring them to the safety of your systems and processes feels like very worthwhile progress.
However, if it all seems a little overwhelming or you don’t know where to start, get in touch. I love working through this with clients and can help with planning, reviewing or refining anything from delivery processes to customer journeys.
At Blake Consultants, we’re experts in helping businesses just like yours to grow. An extra pair of eyes, some knowledge and experience or a canny question here and there can yield amazing things. Give us a call on 01635 592020 or email Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.