The other day, I was chatting with a friend regarding having a client retention plan for my business and scaling it without being present for every coaching session. This led me to think about a serious question I pose to myself often and clients planning on launching a business. Here are twenty-seven questions you should keep asking yourself along your journey as a business owner.
What problem does your business solve? Yes, even a t-shirt business solves a problem. Hurts use American Apparel as an example because they are no longer in business, but they created classic pieces you could get year-round. Another example is, Everything But Water allows you to buy a swimsuit even in the dead of winter. Your business should solve a problem, and then the money will follow it. Don’t just look to make money.
How does your business generate income? Are you a B2C or B2B company? What products or services will you create that bring your business revenue? Will you have entry-level pricing where everyone can afford you? Will it be tiered pricing?
Here is another excellent article on pricing your products.
Which parts of your business are not profitable? There are parts of the business that are essential that will not be profitable but must maintain, and then there will be aspects that are not profitable and unnecessary. You will need to learn the difference between the two and cut the one that is no longer necessary.
Is your cash flow positive first year? I tell clients the first year being profitable is challenging but becomes easier over time. It’s essential to pay attention to the data you are collecting regarding your customer base.
What is your pricing strategy, and why? Will you follow market trends on how to price, or will you break down the numbers and make it work for you. A boutique owner who orders 1000 of one piece and a boutique owner who only orders 10 of that exact piece will not make the same profit. You are creating a custom pricing strategy for your business matters.
How much time do you and your team spend on generating revenue? Are you sitting down daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly brainstorming new ideas that will generate your business revenue? Do you spend time evaluating products or services that are not bringing you money?
What is your client retention rate? As a service provider, are your clients a one and done, or do they stay on for contracts? Can they come to you for other services? Are clients staying with you over time?
Will your customers refer other people they know to your company? Word of mouth and customer referrals are two metrics I use to measure if I am doing my job right. When I first launched digital products, the market was empty, and easy for me to make passive income. However, I am still getting the same level of referrals as before and my blog or consulting services.
Who are your most valuable customers (and which are the most costly)? Have you sat down and determine who your company whales are? The people who come to your website daily or weekly to shop? Learning how and why your customer’s shop based on their emotions will help you down the line.
What is your social media strategy? Do you have one? Is it post it and hope it goes viral? Do you understand each platform your voice needs to be unique to how customers interact on there? Utilize the platforms that bring your business the best ROI and worry about the rest later.
There are several articles on social media that you can search “social media” on my website, and they will all populate for you.
What is your email marketing strategy? Some people make six figures every time they send out an email. I have clients who send out emails for openings and get immediate bookings. Email marketing isn’t hard and should be up there with acquiring customers through social media. Personally, I would put more time into email marketing for the simple fact you can measure the data better.
What differentiates my product from the competition? Your business MVP should be one of the main things that differentiate you from your competitors. In addition to that, it can be your customer service, style of product, and much more.
What’s the most innovative way to fund my operation? There are many ways to fund your business, from doing bootstrap, asking friends and family for a loan, side hustles, or even crowdfunding. It’s about what you as a business need to do. Most businesses can be started with less than $5,000, and you can save that or earn it through the ways listed above.
What if I fail? So, what you failed? You dust your shoulders off and try again. Trust me, not that many people are paying as attention as you think. In addition to that, we all fail. It’s the lessons that you learn to elevate you that matter.
Am I outsourcing the right tasks? Stop trying to be a one-woman or man show! Outsource using Fiverr or hiring other small business owners to help you. Email marketing or social media, not your thing, then hire someone. This will buy back the time you need in other areas of business.
Do I measure the right things? How do you measure the data you receive from your website, social media, email marketing? If you do not understand that information, you won’t know what is working and what isn’t. Best to watch a video on youtube breaking it down or take a course on the subject matter.
Do I have a good lawyer? The answer is probably no. I rarely meet business owners who think about the legal side of the business, but handling that is essential too. Did you register your business in your state? Did you apply for a trademark? Your lawyer will guide you through all of this.
Do I have the right customers? Not everyone is your ideal customer, and that’s okay. Stop marketing to the ocean when crabs are your target audience. You waste money, time, and effort casting a wide net. Create a target customer profile.
Am I thinking big enough? Most business owners are thinking too small when it comes to the impact of their business. It would be best if you outlined a plan for every step you want to achieve. A while back, I created a series teaching people how to go from $35,000 a year to $100,000+ a year. It’s all about your mindset.
As a business owner, you must always be willing to accept the hard truths and ask the questions that lead to those truths. These nineteen business questions are meant to make you think and question the path you take. Social media has made it seem as if it’s easy to launch and scale a business. There are a plethora of growing pains, and it a rollercoaster from the moment you decided to jump in.