Are you just returning from summer holidays and feeling refreshed? That’s how I felt when Magnus and I spent a week visiting my hometown haunts in Northwest CT. (photo below)
Now is the time to bring that same feeling to your business activity. Here are 11 questions that are guaranteed to boost your team’s level of focus for the final quarter of 2009.
Lisa relaxing at the Barkhamsted Reservoir.
Energy Booster #1: Which projects or growth ventures are draining our company or threatening our growth potential/reputation? If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you may have fallen prey to the feeling of “we cannot afford to say no to any client business this year, ” and may have inherited your competitors’ nightmares. Now is the time to clean house and re-focus on activities and clients which honor your strengths.
Energy Booster #2: What are the top limiting beliefs in our company, and how will we manage them?
There are two main reasons why businesses fail—lack of a written growth plan, and pervasive limiting beliefs. Unless you address those beliefs, they will permeate your culture like noxious fumes.
Energy Booster #3: What shiny pennies are destroying our growth potential?
Shiny penny syndrome is a chronic habit of becoming easily distracted by new ideas that appear on your “business sidewalk.” It’s easy to be blown off course and seduced by the latest fad (e.g. social media, anyone?) Continually focus on what you do best. I recommend David Allen’s books, such as “Getting Things Done” or Julie Morgenstern’s “Never Check Email in the Morning.” Allow for some flex time in your daily tasks, just in case a great opportunity or unexpected situation arises.
Energy Booster #4: What is our exit plan, and what is our company’s current “wealth quotient?”
The definition of wealth has changed dramatically. It’s not just about the numbers anymore, even though your attorney and CPA would lead you to believe otherwise. I have discovered seven principles to position your company for a higher valuation. Read more about these principles in U.S. News & World Report.
Energy Booster #5: What industry, competitive, market and client information are we lacking, and how will we find it?
If you want to develop a growth plan that everyone can understand and implement daily, start planning from an external market perspective. Find ways to regularly assess the external forces that are causing your market to change or decline.
Energy Booster #6: What percentage of our teams can clearly explain our vision, values, and Elevator Statement on the fly?
Harness your market wisdom that you have now gathered, assess your internal operations and gaps, and align your teams around a common vision, values, positioning, and goals.
Energy Booster #7: What stage of growth are we experiencing, and what can we do to scale the next wall?
Unless you understand what stage of growth you’re facing, your key performance indicators won’t mean anything. In fact, they will just create busy work. Be clear on the dynamics that a startup faces, and how they differ from a rapid growth company or a business facing its end of life phase.
Energy Booster #8: Which success measures really count, and who will track them?
It’s important to understand what success measures are useful in each phase of growth.
David Van Seters, CEO of SPUD, understands the value of using a relevant success dashboard. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, SPUD is re-inventing the way people look at healthy living and grocery delivery services. SPUD is the first online organic grocer to actually report a profit, and will reach nearly $25 million in revenues this year. Van Seters’ “sustainability scorecard” is not only impressive—it has enabled SPUD to deliver a profit in a challenging market sector.
Energy Booster #9: What is our brand promise—and how can we fulfill that promise even more consistently?
How well aligned is your growth plan aligned with your brand? Remember that branding is not just for well-funded, mature companies. In our experience, small business branding is equally vital as the branding efforts that a Fortune 500 company pursues.
Energy Booster #10: What two methods can we implement immediately to reach the right clients who will pay us handsomely for our value?
Value is often poorly defined and understood. The ancient “hours for dollars” business models (e.g. charging hourly fees) drains many companies of their wealth potential. My book presents 16 proven methods to get your message to the right audience and build a more predictable stream of lifetime clients.
Energy Booster #11: How will we protect our company from the negative and viral affects of social media?
Will social media increase your company’s Wealth Quotient™–or destroy it? You don’t have to look far to see the impact of a poorly defined social media strategy. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, learned the hard way that anything you say may be taken out of context, and can spread like a virus through all forms of digital media. Unlike many self-proclaimed social media experts, I recommend a pragmatic social media approach for B2B companies.
Here is your challenge for the month. Organize 11 short, 20-minute team conference calls. During each call, present one Energy Booster Question. Then listen to their responses. Take copious notes. You may either be delighted with the results, or grateful for the early warning signs that your business is operating below its true potential.
Copyright 2009, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.