Traditionally, most corporate organizations or small businesses usually meet with their management or strategy team every Monday. To help CEOs prepare for an effective meeting on Monday as you resume from a very luxurious weekend, I hope, here are 10 questions for you to choose which is more concerning for your business at this crucial time.
- What problem does your business solve?
It is more than a mantra for us at the CEO’ GConnect Forum (CGCF) to say that, until your business is solving a problem, you are not in business. Therefore, as you move into a new phase in your business with this forum, you need to be fully aware, and let your team members catch up with the bug if knowing the problem that your business is solving. That way, they can market it properly.
- Get you to answer by asking your customers what their reasons are for patronizing your business. (We can help you structure the questionnaire and manage the entire process)
- How does your business generate income?
Yes, we advocate that businesses are meant to fix frictions in the marketplace (solve problems), another critical objective for businesses is that it must be sustainable. For your business to be sustainable, you must have a clear revenue path.
- How to get this information: study your organization’s monthly profit and loss statement under revenue.
- Which parts of your business are not profitable?
Why you need to prepare questions in this regard: Resources are limited. Your business should only support the sales of things that make money.
- How to get this information: Monthly profit and loss statement under revenue, cost of goods sold, and net profit by item.
- Is your cash flow positive each month?
Why you need to prepare questions in this regard: Again, your resources are limited. So, if there’s an area of your business that is generating a negative cash flow, you may need to revaluate your business plan.
- How to get this information: Study your monthly profit and loss statement under revenue, cost of goods sold, and net profit by item.
- What is your pricing strategy and why?
Why you need to prepare questions in this regard: Customers pay for value. It is difficult to make a large gross profit on a commodity.
- How to get this information: prepare to test new, higher prices with customers.
- How much time do you and your management team spend on generating revenue?
Why you need to prepare questions in this regard: If you are not generating revenue because all your money is spent on payroll, then your overhead is too high—and a high overhead sinks companies in the long run.
- How to get this information: Review your payroll and categorize each employee as income-generating or overhead. Be honest.
- What is your client retention rate?
It is more expensive to attract new customers than to retain old customers. According to Jeff Bezos, one angry customer can chase away 10 potential customers. If your business lets old customers leave as you bring in new ones, then you are not building a stable company. Your goal should be to increase both new and repeat customers.
- How to get this information: Track individual customer revenue year to year and monitor how it changes.
- Will your customers refer other people they know to your company?
Why you need to know: Marketing is expensive and getting referrals from existing customers is a cheap alternative.
- Where to find this information: Ask your customers. If you get a new customer from an existing one, keep track of it so that you can give those recurring customers special offers—and an incentive to refer more customers. (we can help institutionalize a referral system for your business)
- Who are your most valuable customers (and which are the costliest)?
Why you need to know: Those revenue-generating customers may be monopolizing your resources and preventing you from being able to service others and increase profitability. Remember Pareto’s principle – 80/20? Apply your 80% effort to 20% of your most valuable customers.
- Where to find this information: Review your gross profit by customer and ask your employees which customers are the biggest abusers of company resources.
- What is your social media strategy?
Why you need to know: The World Wide Web can be a worldwide waste of time. Social media must be part of your marketing strategy, but it also can be a huge time suck.
(We can help you customize an effective social media strategy).