This article was originally published on Cleveland.com. Read original article here.
How are things going with your business?
Does your business look the same as it did last year? Without some fresh perspective, 2017 won’t be any different.
The year’s first quarter is already coming to a close. It’s past time not only to take a closer look at what your business is doing, but also to remind yourself why you’re in business and who you’re serving.
Here are three questions every business owner should ask themselves today:
1) How much do you focus on your people? It all comes down to people. Are you really in tune with the needs of every person your business touches?
2) What’s the why of your business? What’s the why for you? What’s the why for your customers? Do you know the why of your business from the perspective of your customers, your employees and yourself?
3) Do you know what you really want from your business? Lots of money? More time with your family? Is all your hard work getting you nearer the goals you have for your business?
Businesses of all shapes and sizes wrestle with hard questions about work-life balance, about making enough money, and about the direction they’re going. Many of them don’t come up with good answers.
One out of every eight businesses in North America discontinued operations in 2016, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Will you become part of that statistic in 2017?
What are you doing to answer the tough questions about your business? Do you even know what to do? Are you praying for miracles and just hoping to get healthy?
“The magic answer is to be realistic with yourself,” said Victor Bierman, a lawyer and partner in Inveriti, a business assessment, strategy and coaching firm in Cleveland. “Let’s look around. Let’s peek under the covers and acknowledge what’s going on.”
It might not make business owners comfortable, but they should solicit blatantly honest perspectives on the health of their business from all of their stakeholders. Looking at a business through the eyes of others can offer valuable insight to help change the way an entrepreneur sees and thinks about the business.
They should ask their most trusted employees whether they really like coming to work and if they don’t then why not? They should ask how comfortable their financial advisors really are with making them a loan. They should take a close look at their customer base to better understand who they’re serving and what opportunities they’re missing.
They should talk with a professional advisor for a realistic, unbiased, educated perspective on the health of their business. Profits alone don’t measure the health of a business.
“One of the things we harp on constantly is perspective,” Bierman said. “Everything’s about perspective. Are you really looking at your business with the right perspective?”
There’s still time to make 2018 Q1 feel different for your business than 2017 Q1.