Do You Know Where Your Business Is?

| Published by Mark Akerley under Newsletters |

Last week marked the end of 2nd Quarter 2007 or some other milestone depending on your fiscal planning cycle. Oh my, how time flies! No matter – it’s over – and the key question is “How’d you do?” Before you start answering though, let’s divide that simple question into two very different parts:

A – How did your business do?

B – How did you do?

Now let’s focus on each of these parts by asking just a few more specific questions – all aimed at assessing results, learning from success and failure and propelling you to greater results during next quarter. This process of examining results is called “results management,” and is one that every business owner needs to master. Here are a few incisive questions to consider for your results management process. Revise these as appropriate for your business.

A – How did your business do?

1. Did revenue and expense meet my expectations? Why / why not?

2. Did I complete my written quarterly objectives? Why / why not?

3. What did I learn about my customers, industry, market, suppliers, my team? Can I apply this knowledge to achieving future goals and objectives?

4. Is my plan realistic? Should I make any adjustments?

5. What must I fix, build or change to meet my objectives for the next 3 months?

B – How did you do?

1. What learning and development opportunities (seminars, workshops, briefings, etc.) did I take advantage of? Which ones will I schedule for next quarter?

2. What book(s) did I read or listen to help me build and maintain confidence and learn more about my business?

3. How much time did I spend working on my business versus working in my business? Was it sufficient? How will I schedule my time for the next three months?

4. How much time did I devote to developing and maintaining my “personal edge” (e.g. issues and opportunities regarding my family, personal finances, physical/emotional/intellectual health, etc.)

5. What feedback have I received (from colleagues, coaches, employees, trusted advisors) to help me become an even better leader, manager, and business owner? Do I need more and how can I get more feedback?

As you can see, these are not particularly difficult questions. You don’t need an enterprise management system churning out reams of data to answer them. However, you do need to be brutally honest in assessing facts, results and conclusions. Doing so will enable you to move forward with focus and confidence to achieve your goals. That’s the purpose of results management.


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