As a business owner, you’re constantly thinking ahead. You’ve got to make sure the day-to-day running of your business is smooth and that all your employees are on the same page. We all know how easy it is to burn out nowadays. So you don’t want to be expending energy on things that aren’t going to benefit you.
Asking good questions can often seem like a talent you need to be born with. But in reality, you need to take time and think about the direction you are taking as a business owner. What do you need next in order to reach your next milestone?
With queries to answer and jobs of your own to be getting on with, here’s what we think are 3 questions every business owner should always be asking, to ensure the running of your company is as stress-free as possible.
1. Is there a better way to do this to improve our results?
With everything you do for the business, you’ll always have an outcome in mind. Sales, clicks, leads – whatever you may consider ‘results’ are going to be the basis of which direction you’ll take with your business plan. Finding something that works for you is a fantastic relief. You see those numbers climbing and the figures getting better every month.
But sometimes people fall into a rut and get stuck in their ways. This can often lead to a plateau in visible results. This is when you may need to consider that there may be another, more efficient or effective way of doing things.
Don’t forget, you hire people for a reason. These are questions every business owner should always be asking, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should just be directed at you or the managers.
Utilise all of your team. Their skills and expertise will be invaluable at times where you need to be thinking differently. Take some time out for a brainstorming session or get people’s opinions in the office. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can get an influx of new ideas and probably some that you’ll look at and think ‘why didn’t we do this earlier?’
It’s also a case of trial and error sometimes. Implementing new ideas is a risk, but it’s a risk worth taking when you’re going in a new direction or not seeing the results you were previously. Obviously, you don’t want to put time and money into something you don’t think will work, but your team will have the ideas to back it up and the skills to push it to the limits.
As the business owner, you’ll know it inside out and although the old ways may have worked in the past, your business has grown and developed now. It’s going to need you and to develop with it.
2. Are we all going in the same direction and is it all joined up?
Your team are the people you go to for support and to delegate tasks to. It’s crucial that you all see eye-to-eye, otherwise, it could be detrimental to your business.
However, it’s also essential that any clients you may have, share a common goal. If they don’t understand your process, you’re not going to see the results you want. This is why consistent communication is so important.
Communication is key
When you hire new people, you’re making sure that they have the right mindset and skillset to fit into what their job role will be.
But don’t forget to make sure they see where they fit in the entire company dynamic. Will they bring ideas to the table that benefit the business in the long run?
Mentoring your team is one way of ensuring people stay on the same path in the long run. Whereas coaching can develop people’s skills and push them in the direction you need them to be in.
Also, day-to-day, people are aware of their tasks. They have a job to do and they do it well, but does it align with what’s happening in other areas of the business? Making sure everyone is aware of what’s happening in other areas is a vital area of communication that can sometimes go amiss. Especially in larger companies.
By having the questions every business owner should always be asking, you’re making sure the entire company is in the loop. If anyone feels as though the communication is going awry, they should know it’s important they ask. This way, everything that’s being done to get those all-important results can nicely join up and run smoothly.
If everyone is kept in the know about how things are progressing, you can be sure that everyone is going in the same direction. Not only are you going to be sure that
3. Are we focussing on the right stuff here?
If you’re having monthly or quarterly meetings, they might start to get repetitive. If you find your team is consistently feeding back on the same outcomes and it’s looking fairly steady, you might feel comfortable but do you need more of a push?
Switching things up every now and then can be a welcome change from the usual tasks your company is used to. It may even come to light that the areas you so desperately needed to focus on last month, aren’t the same this month. This is something that will happen a lot as your business grows and moulds.
Short term goals
From monthly sales targets to publishing 3 blogs a week, there are things that will most likely always be on the cards for people to be working towards. These are the things that you expect to work into your routines. The way they are done may not change very often and the people that tackle them may not differ too much from day-to-day.
On the other hand, running a business is in no way straightforward. Without a doubt, there will be days where everything gets thrown up in the air and you need to drop everything to tackle it.
This is when you need to make sure you’re taking notice of the questions every business owner should always be asking. Ensuring the company is focussing on what matters in the now, rather than getting caught up in the everyday items on their calendar.
Being a good leader and having leaders in your company that can step in when this happens is a real asset to have. People that know what they can push to one side every now and then when they might need to is going to provide a healthy dynamic and give you extra headspace for the bigger things.
Long term goals
However, within different departments, there are some targets that are going to change constantly. As you grow, your targets may get bigger, or you may implement new business methods and strategies to further expand your business.
You may know where you want to be in 5 years time, but how you’re going to get there will depend on the ways you and your team are willing to approach it.
If you decide to expand your business halfway through because you’re seeing better results than expected you might be able to push your targets further.
This would see you shifting your focus once again to larger ventures. Could you or someone in the team be using their time more wisely on a new project or client that will be beneficial in the long run?
Concluding the questions every business owner should always be asking
The truth is, there are going to be moments in your career when you may not know what the next move will be or what the right option is. That’s why it’s important to ask questions. Step back and re-evaluate where you are with the business, what you want to see happen in the future and who can help you achieve that.
Use these top 3 questions to get started and you’ll be on your way to progressing into the next step of business ownership!
Are you looking for more help and advice to transform your business? If you’re wondering what other questions you could ask to get the ball rolling, don’t delay. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this contact form, and I’ll be happy to get started and jump into your organisation.