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After a break many business owners review their businesses with fresh eyes and consider whether any changes are required. This is usually as a result of taking a break and having time to think about what is actually happening in your business. Also often you try to make too many changes without succeeding with any, when actually changing one thing well can have a much bigger impact.
So what is the one change that will make the most difference to your business and how can you identify it? Here are some questions to get you thinking about the change you may want to make:
What are you worrying about? If you think about what you are worrying about this is likely to be areas that may need changing e.g. you may be worrying about your sales, your relationship with a key supplier or your cash flow position.
What is stopping you moving forward? There may be things in your business that you feel if they were fixed will make a huge difference e.g. process inefficiencies, a particular report that you cannot get from your computer system or not enough staff.
If you could change one thing right now, what would it be? Answering this question straight away should give you the key change as it is likely to be your biggest frustration e.g. start selling online, increase prices or add a new service.
What are your customers talking to you about? Customer feedback is always a good indicator of what is happening in your business so what are your customers telling you e.g. poor quality products, slow deliveries or services that they would like you to offer.
What are other businesses doing that you are not? Being alert to the competition, as well as seeing what other businesses are doing and what is happening in the market place can alert you to changes you need to make e.g. special offers, using new marketing tactics or introducing new more efficient systems.
If everything was how you want it to be, what would be different to now? Thinking about this will give you ideas as to what is not happening now that you want to be e.g. bigger offices, expanding your sales area or getting rid of unprofitable customers.
What could you do to stand out from the competition? Identifying your point of difference or unique selling point can help you to market your business better and to get noticed e.g. you may have a product that no one else offers, have specialist knowledge or can deliver goods quicker.
What are your staff telling you needs changing? Listening to your staff and understanding their frustrations can tell you where changes need to be made e.g. it takes too long to process an order, they don't know how to do something or they are getting lots of returns of a particular product line.
What areas of your business do you feel less comfortable with and why? Understanding which areas of the business you are less comfortable with may highlight parts of your business that you are neglecting and need help with e.g. you may not like presenting to clients, may feel you do not understand marketing or you are struggling with the financial side.
What are you not doing that you feel you should be doing? Often we keep doing what we have always done but there may be things that we are not doing that could make all the difference e.g. you may be marketing to potential new clients but not marketing to your existing and previous customers, you may be issuing invoices but not chasing outstanding invoices or you may be doing things that you don't need to do but not answering important emails and phone calls.
I hope these questions have got you thinking and that you can now make that one change that will make all the difference. When you have made that change, you can then repeat the exercise again to identify the next key change!
Author: Liz Makin
Published: September 2010
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk
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