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6 Questions to Spark New Year’s Business Planning

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=business+people&iid=7290606″ src=”a/d/0/8/High_angle_view_9e7e.jpg?adImageId=8463437&imageId=7290606″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]Whether you’re planning global expansion for your business or you just want to see if it’s time to design new business cards, December is a great time to revisit your business. Pull up a chair, get a cup of eggnog, a plate of decorated Christmas cookies, a pad of paper and a pencil and see if any of these questions can help you spark some new thinking.

1.  Why do you have your own business?   [Are you a small business owner or the owner of a home-based business?  Or are you still in the idea stage…the entrepreneurial-thinking stage?]

  • What do you hope to achieve with your business?  Are you looking to augment your current situation or replace it altogether?  Do you plan to serve your local community or do you see a global presence?
  • Can you, in one sentence, declare the purpose of your business?  Do you have a purpose at the core of your business that is larger than the details?

2.  Can you state exactly how big you want your business to be?  Not everyone dreams of being a multi-national, multi-billion dollar business; some people are happy and comfortable being “thousandaires.”

  • Is it big in annual profit margin?
  • Is it big in philanthropic outreach?
  • Is it big in the numbers of people it touches?
  • Is growth part of your plan?

3.  What makes your business special?

  • What differentiates your business from another that is similar?  You might be an independent distributor with a direct selling company, but your business is still your own business – what sets your business apart from another independent distributor selling the same product?  Is is customer service?  Added value?
  • What is your uniqueness?  Is it your product or service?  Is it the quality of customer service your business offers?

4.  Do you know who your customers are? Do you have a business-to-business product or service making other businesses your potential clients?  Do you have a consumer product or service that appeals to a specific niche or does it have broad appeal?

  • Do you know where they are?  Are they your neighbors?  Are they online?
  • Can they find you?  Are you distributing information about your business and products/services in as many ways that potential customers can understand and find?

5.  Do you have a road map of strategies to get you where you want to go?

  • Do you know where you want to be this time next year?
  • Do you have strategies that apply to the short-term “survival” needs of your business?
  • Do you have business-building strategies in place that will lead you to where you’d like to see your business in ten year’s time?

6.  Do you have outlined how you’re going to achieve your stated goals?

  • Do you have recognized milestones in place that will let you know where you are on the path to your goals?

You may not want to totally revamp your 2010 business plan halfway through December, but these questions might give you a way to tweak some spots in that plan to make 2010 more of a positive adventure.

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6 Responses

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