Taking a regular healthcheck of your enterprise is recommended by Dr Work.Life. Think of it as a quarterly dose of reflection. But what should you be reviewing? Here are a few ideas to help you assess how you’re doing and implement change.
- What did I learn?
Take a breath to evaluate what lessons you’ve picked up over the last three to six months. How did you approach opportunities and tackle challenges? How did you react to criticism or – even – positive customer feedback? Figuring out what you’re good at highlights avenues to exploit, while identifying areas for improvement helps you avoid repeating costly mistakes.
- What did I earn?
This is about evaluating profit rather than turnover. Why? Because profit’s all the good stuff once expenses have been removed so really shows what your take-home is. Where can you cut costs without compromising your offering? Can you work smarter rather than harder when it comes to your finances?
- How well am I responding to customer needs?
Your product or service is the best thing out there and people should realise how much they need it! Well, we love your confidence but if you’re your service’s only fan, we don’t hold much hope for its longevity. Are you listening to your customers as much as you should? And remember it’s not just about numbers of customers – it’s also amount of spend per client and repeat business. Plus, are all your customers right for you? Are some draining time and resources that could be better invested elsewhere?
- Is your business plan still on track?
Don’t be afraid to amend or tweak your blueprint if new opportunities arise. Learn to adapt to survive. Is it time for a fresh SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats? In it for the long term? Does your future planning reflect everything that’s changed over the past year?
- Can I identify new opportunities?
Do you have new products you can sell to existing customers or could you introduce existing products to a new market? Sourcing new audiences is an important part of creating a sustainable company in a mercurial business climate.
- What’s your competition up to?
Don’t be a slave to stalking your nearest rivals but keeping up a healthy awareness of your industry, changes, thinking and innovations will help you better shape your offering.
If word of mouth is your best advocate in getting new business – congratulations. If this is complemented by a website and other social media, when did you last check them for quality of message and usefulness of media? Do you really need Instagram or would a monthly email newsletter better serve you and your audience? Ensure your messaging is on-brand and targeting the right audience – both of these may change over time so regular assessments are key.
- How are your employees?
In the stressful and often busy months of setting up and sustaining a small business, checking in with your staff may take a back seat. But set aside some time to ask for their feedback. Insight from people one step removed from the operation is often insightful and revealing. Plus, your staff are your best ambassadors – look after them.
- Do I still enjoy what I’m doing?
It’s been your dream to set up your own business and things are coming along nicely. But you can get entrenched in the work and forget why you started it in the first place. Is this still the right set-up for you? Check in with yourself from time to time…
- Am I getting a work/life balance?
… and ensure you still have time to see friends and family, relax and socialise with like-minded individuals in the same business boat. The balance is a top priority for Work.Life – our locations blend professional workspace with wellbeing. Click here for more on what we can offer.