As you go through daily life, you do many things, conscious or unconscious, to protect yourself. For example, you lock your car, lock your house and may have a security system to further monitor in and around the house. You do things to ensure you are as safe as possible. That’s why you also purchase insurance on your house (interior and exterior), your car, extended warranties on appliances, computers and for the business – just in case, something happens. Whatever it may be you are seeking to protect in your life, often many questions roll through your mind in the process or are asked of you when formalizing the protection agreement. There are always many questions to ask yourself.
I happen to be a big believer in being as aware as possible of what is happening around you. As a CEO, president or business owner, the only way to enhance your awareness for the benefit of the company is to ask yourself questions every business day. Think of it as the way to further protect your livelihood and the investment you have in your company. Certainly, all the business computers have antivirus software and a data backup to protect your business information. You consult with a business attorney and a CPA when necessary.
But the most important thing you can do to protect your business is to ask yourself questions every business day. And, no, your employees and business associates will not think you are talking to yourself. Instead, they will wonder how you are able to be consistently successful with your leadership!
What questions to ask yourself every business day?
Start asking questions from the moment you walk into the office (or perhaps even on the drive into work).
Here are some examples of what to ask yourself, as a CEO, president or business owner:
- What am I doing today?
- What’s going on?
- What worked yesterday?
- What didn’t work yesterday?
- What problems did I or the company have yesterday?
- What needs to be resolved?
- What gaps exist with employee staffing?
- Who do I need to talk with?
- Who do I need to coach?
- Who do I need to acknowledge for a job well done?
You need to develop for yourself a list of questions. The above questions are ideas to get you started. The list should include 5-10 questions you are going to ask yourself every day. These questions will help provide a true and current picture of your business and to keep you on track. The goal is to keep you focused and prevent overwhelm. The daily list of questions to ask yourself will help to provide you with a better understanding of what you need to be aware of in the business for more success and profitability.
Some people will say all you have to do is look at your financial statement for the business. That it will tell you how well you are doing. Your financial statement is an old statistic the day after you receive it. The information doesn’t reflect whatever today’s business situation may be. The statement is reflective of the most recent business quarter or perhaps last year. It doesn’t really tell you what’s going on. If you’re not fully aware of what’s going on in your business, you’ve got a problem.
Here’s additional questions to ask yourself every business day:
- How are sales?
- Where are we with sales this month?
- What does our sales pipeline look like today?
- Are we doing enough to create sales?
- What is the sales team doing?
- What is our closing ratio currently?
A list of questions will help:
- Propel you to more success
- Give you a more concise idea of exactly what’s going on in your business
- Lessen the chance of being caught off-guard with a business issue or problem by being more aware
- With knowing how profitable the company is.
A key to the success of asking yourself specific business questions every day is having a positive mental attitude. You need to understand why and how things work in your business by asking questions throughout each business day. Show your excitement about work and all its challenges to motivate others including employees.
Yet you need to balance the positive attitude with the reality of the negative issues facing your business. Not everything is working as you would like it to. Not everything turns out the way you would like it to. You need to be realistic to succeed in business. If you can understand why something isn’t working; and ask the right questions that will provide answers or lead you to the right answers, then you will have a positive experience in operating your company. Develop and grow your business with a defined company culture of talented people that has a profitable balance sheet.
Asking questions is the guardian of your business. Understanding what questions to ask is the success you will experience by understanding what the answers to those questions are.
- Never be afraid to ask a question.
- Never be afraid to look at what’s not working in your business.
- Concentrate on the positive.
- Concentrate on the negative.
Have a set of questions you are prepared to ask yourself every business day to make certain you are being successful. You can initially ask yourself questions as you begin the business day; then you can expand your set of questions to include when you finish the business day. If you find the questions especially productive, even add a few at mid-day. This will help to reinforce your business goals and strategy. Over time, you will find the questions to ask yourself will evolve and change. Expect modification. Be flexible. Quite possibly, the questions will get better and better – just as your business will. All because you now have a better understanding of your business.
Never, ever, stand still in business. Be active. Participate. Don’t just sit behind your desk or be glued to your smartphone. Be truly involved. If you do, you will be truly successful.
To your success!
Business expert and strategist, Howard Lewinter, guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States across a wide range of industries, to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Business people trust Howard’s vast business knowledge, practical advice, intuitive insight and objective perspective to solve business problems and issues. Get MORE from your business! Talk business with Howard: 888-738-1855.
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