Making Good People Better

7 Questions That Move Your Business Forward

Here is an effective method to get total clarity on where your business stands and what you will need to do to keep it thriving. No tax returns, budget figures, inventory turn-over numbers or any other data required with the Wheel of Business exercise.

 

Download the Wheel of Business Worksheet here.

The Wheel of Business has seven pies with each representing a vital area of management. Think through each area in your wheel and draw a line across every pie at a number between 0 and 100. 0 Means that you have nothing; 100 means that you have everything. Don’t overthink your ratings. Go with your gut. You can – and will – make adjustments later on. Whether you believe you are at 30%, 50% or 70% in any given category, just draw a line from left to right in the pie with the corresponding label.

  1. Rate your current situation based on how your high-level assessment
  2. Scribble your pies so that they are solid
  3. Look at your Wheel of Business and ask yourself: “If this was a wheel on my car, how fast could I go? How smooth would the ride be? Would it be rough or smooth?
  4. If your answer is ‘slow and bumpy’, schedule your FREE Perform-at-Peak Strategy Session here.

Wheel of Business Questions

Business Strategy

Do you have a business vision, plan or map that has been shared with everyone who needs to help execute it? Has this strategy been broken down into meaningful and actionable chunks of responsibilities for all stakeholders? Do you know where you are, where you’re going, what’s not working, what you’ve learned, how your strategy is going to make business better? There’s no right or wrong answer. If you feel like, “I have no plan at all; I’m just chunking out work,” you are starting at zero. If you can honestly say, “Know what? I have a plan, my entire team is committed and aligned, and we are humming,” you put the line at 100%.

Strategic innovation

What are you doing to innovate, to implement new processes, new technologies, or new ways of getting things done? Are you constantly innovating to redefine your customer base and expand the size of your market? What do you do to change the value you deliver to your customers? How do you dramatically improve your value to both suppliers and customers? Which blocks are you removing that keep your company from moving forward? If you haven’t innovated in the last five years, then you’re at zero. If innovation is a default habit, you are at 100. If you have done some of the work, then maybe it’s 50, 60, or 70. Just pick a number and run with it. Don’t overthink it.

This is just a warmup exercise. You are going to repeat it in more detail multiple times moving forward.

Marketing

Do you have the right product and service for your target market? Does the pricing reflect perceived value to the customer? How effective are your advertising, sales promotions, special offers and public relations? Do you promote your business in the right places? Do you study consumer wants and needs and then attract consumers with something they want? Do you make it easy to buy from you through all available channels (website, social media, email, over the phone, etc.)? Are you pushing your marketing message, or are you creating a pull? Do you have enough inbound traffic that sales can follow up on or not?

You could be 100, or you could be at zero. Focus on the way you feel is the right answer for now. Nobody wants to see evidence of your answers. Just draw a line where you think things stand right now.

Sales Proficiency

Do your sales reps understand your products and services? Can they explain in detail how each product works and what business value it offers? Are you searching for referrals to new prospects through existing connections or ask existing customers for introductions? What are other prospecting strategies do you use? Are you managing your state of mind during sales meetings? How well are you in control of your tone of voice, volume and pace of speech? How confident do you handle objections and close deals? How healthy is your sales pipeline and what is the conversion rate from prospect to customer? How well are operations working with sales? Do they collaborate on writing proposals, being clear on delivery dates and other terms and conditions?

Draw a line.

Process Optimization

How good are you at continuously improving your processes, automating repetitive and manual labor and the communication with your clients. Has using artificial intelligence already been integrated into your operations? Do you do enough to reduce energy consumption, increase throughput, reduce inventory, shorten delivery times, or decrease production planning alerts? Are you eliminating redundancies, streamlining workflows, improving communication, forecasting changes? What initiatives are in place to widen production bottlenecks, scale operations, and increase quality at source?

It does not matter if you are entirely sure. Draw a line even if you just think you may just be perceiving things.

Legal and Finance

How high are your profit margins? Is your revenue growing or shrinking? How robust is your net cash flow? How do you maximize interest while meeting cash requirements? Do your inventory stocking and reordering policies support your cashflow needs? How useful are your key performance indicators, and how meaningful are they tied to business outcomes? How do you allocate funds to various investments to maximize portfolio returns? How well are you complying with regulation and legal frameworks?

Keep on drawing lines.

Pro-Active Promoters

These are clients that tell all their peers, colleagues and friends how great you and your company are. The pro-actively connect you with new clients. How many of those raving fans do you have? Are you under-promising and over-delivering? Do you offer unexpected surprises and bonuses for your customers? Are you giving special benefits, discounts, offers and value in addition to what your core clients are receiving? Have you trained your employees to deliver positive customer experiences? Are you fostering authentic relationships with your customers? Are you asking for testimonials?

This is your last line to draw in the Wheel of Business. Do it.

Finally, scribble your pies so that they are solid. Then look at your wheel and ask yourself the following question: “If this was a wheel on my car, how fast could I go? How smooth would the ride be? Would it be rough or smooth?” If your answer is ‘slow and bumpy’, schedule your FREE Perform-at-Peak Strategy Session here.


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