It’s OK. You probably are an expert in many things. But, as a business owner, you might think it is a waste of time or resources to ask for help. The most successful entrepreneurs always do. Take the questionnaire and confirm what you probably already know. Then, call US! Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes.
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BUSINESS COACHING QUESTIONNAIRE
Take our unscientific quiz and determine if you are a candidate for business coaching!
BUSINESS COACHING QUESTIONNAIRE
HAVE YOU EVER WRITTEN A MISSION & VISION STATEMENT FOR YOUR COMPANY AND/OR UPDATED IT IN THE LAST 2 YEARS?
A mission and vision are standard and critical elements of a company's organizational strategy. Most established companies develop organizational mission statements and vision statements, which serve as foundational guides in the establishment of company objectives. The company then develops strategic and tactical plans for objectives.
This must be written and ideally posted throughout the company building and other promotional materials including the website. You win extra points by also publishing your company's Core Values that support your Mission and Vision statements.
ARE YOU ADEQUATELY CAPITALIZED?
In many respects, leaving financial matters to other advisors is the right choice. Entrepreneurs beginning a new start-up will need to work closely with accountants and bankers. The entrepreneur does not want to hear this. He or she wants to focus on the tales of successful enterprises born in a garage with nothing more than $500 and a dream.
If you are looking for a rule of thumb, all the equity contributed at the time a business is formed (whether in cash, property, or some other form) should be more than any loans to the business at the time of formation. And the law is well-established that formation is the relevant time for assessing “adequate capitalization.”
What is Adequate Capitalization?
In a landmark 1964 United States Supreme Court case, Justice Potter Stewart famously said of obscenity: “I know it when I see it.” Determining what the proper capitalization is for a new corporation is a lot like Stewart’s obscenity test: there’s no bright-line rule for either one.
Courts generally consider a corporation’s capitalization to be inadequate if it is very small in relation to the nature of the corporation’s business and the risks attendant to the business. The bigger and riskier the business, the greater the capitalization requirement will be. A corporation that has one employee who manufactures and sells hand-made baskets will require much less in the way of capitalization than a construction company with 50 employees.
Why Should You Care About Adequate Capitalization?
One of the primary advantages of incorporating a small business is the protection that the corporate form gives to shareholders’ personal assets. When a corporation is a defendant in a lawsuit, the plaintiff may seek to “pierce the corporate veil” to reach the shareholders’ personal assets. Courts often cite inadequate capitalization as one factor that supports piercing the corporate veil: in fact, some corporate law experts believe that inadequate capitalization is the single most important factor courts consider when determining whether to pierce the corporate veil.
DO YOU HAVE A MONTHLY/ANNUAL BUDGET FOR MARKETING?
Because marketing affects most areas of your business, your marketing budget is critical to your success. Marketing is much more than just advertising and promotions, and your budget must cover the many areas of planning, pricing and distributing your product or service if you want to stay competitive and maximize your profits.
Businesses often set a static budget for pre-communications marketing needs, such as research and development, and a dynamic budget for spending on advertising, promotions and public relations. While it’s often a good idea to tie increased marketing spending to increased sales, reducing your marketing spending when sales are slow can make the problem worse. A marketing budget is important for helping you proactively shift the emphasis of your promotional efforts to low-cost methods, such as social media or in-store promotions, during slow periods.
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT? PROFIT MARGINS OR SALES?
To be successful and remain in business, both profitability and growth are important and necessary for a company to survive and remain attractive to investors and analysts. Profitability is, of course, critical to a company's long-term survivability. A company's net profit is the revenue after all the expenses related to the manufacture, production and selling of products are deducted. Profit is "money in the bank."
Depending on your products and services, generally speaking taking a hit in sales because you did not drop your price is ok. Even though everyone speaks in terms of PRICE, it is NEVER about price. It is about VALUE.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS MORE THAN ONE YEAR, HAVE YOUR FORMALLY SURVEYED YOUR CUSTOMERS?
Analytics and data gives us all sorts of insights into what our customers want from our business. But sometimes… don’t you wish you could get an answer straight from your customers?
That’s what customer feedback is all about.
It helps us understand the WHY behind what people are doing. Why are people using one feature three times as often as another? Why do most of your customers stop creating accounts on the last step? Or what causes customers to use your product less frequently (and eventually stop altogether)?
When we match customer feedback to what we’re seeing in our analytics, we get a much clearer picture of what’s going on. Then we’ll know how to fix problems and go after the right opportunities.
DO YOU MAKE COMPULSIVE BUSINESS DECISIONS?
Most of us are taught from early on that sound decisions come from a cool head.The last thing one would want would be the intrusion of emotions in the methodical process of decision making. The high-reason view, assumes that “formal logic will, by itself, get us to the best available solution for any problem….To obtain the best results, emotions must be kept out.” Research demolished that notion. Patients with damage to the part of the prefrontal cortex that processes emotions (or, in a way, “listens” to them) often struggle with making even routine decisions.
You don’t have to be a neuroscientist to see how the emotional brain can badly distort judgment. Just ask any parent. From the toddler climbing the shelves to get candy to the teenager sneaking off for unprotected sex, kids have a dangerous shortage of common sense. Their bad behavior often looks consciously defiant (and sometimes it is), but the real problem may be that their brains haven’t yet developed the circuitry that judiciously balances risks and rewards to yield level-headed decisions.
DO YOU KNOW WHO YOUR TOP 10 COMPETITORS ARE?
Every business plan needs to include information on competitive analysis. It's one of the most important points in your plan and should always be included, even when you're just doing an internal plan but especially when outsiders will read it. A competitive analysis is your chance to look closely at your market and your competition, to learn what the others are doing and why. Companies that annually update their plans should always include a competitive analysis to catch changes in the marketplace and in their competition; startups need to know the landscape before they begin.
Don't have a written business plan? GO BACK TO SQUARE ONE.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW SOCIAL MEDIA OPERATES FOR BUSINESS VERSUS PERSONAL?
There's a huge difference between the two types of networks in "purpose and mindset." On services like Facebook, users are far more likely to "spend time," whereas use of networks like LinkedIn is considered an investment of time. In numeric terms, "people are more than 3 times as likely to use personal networks for entertainment rather than professional networks" and "3 times as likely to use professional networks to keep up to date with their career over personal networks."
Additionally, you might have false expectations of the performance of your business Facebook page versus your personal page. You might get a 100 likes of your cat photo on your personal FB page, but, no one cares about ANYTHING about your business posts it seems. There is a strategy.
DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE A MEASURED PLAN/PROGRAM TO GIVE BACK TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY?
Modern society gives some great rewards to entrepreneurs who find what people need and want, and provide it. This exchange is huge part to the free market philosophy that has led to much prosperity (although unfortunately not for everyone). Successful business people are well rewarded for their ability to provide what society wants. Sometimes these people make for good philanthropists, even if many are still stingy with their wealth.
We believe good corporate "citizenship" is not negotiable for a healthy company to grow and retain their employees. This is why:
It builds respect and a good reputation in the community. Even if you are only doing business online, good corporate citizenship can be accomplished.
It makes your "community" a better place to live.
Employees respect leaders who do good.
Connections and networking. Connect with other like-minded business owners.
DO YOU WRITE AND UPDATE YOUR BUSINESS GOALS ANNUALLY?
When you are establishing a marketing plan, you can have a plan that is up-to-date or you can have a plan that is guaranteed to fail. That may sound a little harsh, but stop and think about how much things change in the span of a few months or even a few weeks. You should periodically go through your marketing plan and make sure that you tweak your strategy. This will help you be sure that your marketing strategy will survive the next stages of your business.
There is no magic rule for updating your strategy. Many entrepreneurs suggest updating your plan every month. However, you should keep a few things in mind before deciding how often you should have a new go at your plan:
Your industry. This is a big deal, because some businesses are more subject to changes than others. If you are in a technology field where new changes are taking place on a regular basis, you may need to update your plan on a biweekly basis. On the other hand, if you are in an industry that has been fairly stagnant, you may not need to update your plans more than a couple of times a year.
Fundamental changes to your company. You are likely to have a number of changes in your business that will require a new marketing plan. If you lose a lot of capital, you will have to create a leaner marketing budget and change your plan accordingly. The same goes if any of your key employees leave, as your marketing plan should be based around the strengths of your employees.
Key trends in your customer base. If customers are changing their behaviors or losing interest in a particular type of promotional effort, it is essential that you adjust your marketing plan.
Effectiveness. Has your plan been effective recently? There is no point going forward with a plan that isn't going to provide you the benefit you are looking for. If you are noticing a lag in your sales, it is probably a good time to take a second look at your plan.
A marketing plan that outdated quickly loses its effectiveness. Take the time to routinely go through your plan and make sure that your strategy is kept current.Many businesses make the mistake of over-planning up front and never looking at their plan again. Instead, you should learn to frame your plan as an ongoing development that needs to be revised regularly.
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BUSINESS COACHING QUESTIONNAIRE
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Why Do Small Businesses Fail?
Now that you know what percentage of small businesses fail, you’re probably wondering why they fail.
There’s a multitude of reasons why small businesses close.
According to a 2007 study, the biggest reason why businesses fail is a lack of sufficient capital plus cash flow problems. In fact, 82% of business failed because they experienced cash flow problems. This statistic reiterates the often overlooked fact: Small businesses need capital to grow.
After capital, there are many other reasons why a business fails—from a founder departure to a poorly structured team.
You Get What You Pay For
Some people love soliciting free advice, especially about their business. NO ONE heeds free advice. Free advice fills the vacuum in your head until the next burst comes along. IT NEVER results in a plan of attack.
- 3 Hours - Includes Workbook
- Discuss Assets & Liabilities
- Discuss Mission & Vision Statement
- Discuss Annual Expenses and Gross Sales
- Determine Target Net Profits
- Summary Plan
- Three 2-hour Sessions - Includes Workbook
- Session 1 - Outline/Working Documents Required Completion 7 Days Prior to 1st Session - Discuss Assets & Liabilities
- Session 2 - Discuss Important of Mission & Vision Statement
- Session 3 - Discuss Expenses, Gross Sales and Target Adjustments
- Define Quarterly and Annual Goals
- Summary Plan
- One Weekly Call, One Monthly Meeting
- Review Monthly Successes and Misses
- Discuss Competition
- Discuss Expenses, Gross Sales and Target Adjustments
- Assess Monthly Goals
- Summary Plan for Forthcoming Month