Here are some business development questions that you, as a business owner, need to ask over and over as your market evolves and your strategic plan changes. Very often, the answers will change in response to evolving conditions. It is important that you change as well, when it is necessary.
7. What are the constraints on your business today?
What is holding you back from achieving your goals of sales, cash flow and profitability? Of all the factors that are holding you back from achieving successful business development, what is the biggest single factor and what could you do to alleviate this constraint?
In every business, there are limiting factors that determine the speed at which you can achieve your goals. You must be absolutely clear about these constraints or limiting factors and work continually to remove them. Sometimes the constraint can be a lack of sales. Sometimes it is the lack of skilled, qualified people. Sometimes it is the lack of capital for growth or expansion or even for operations.
Here is one of those “brutal questions” that author Jim Collins talks about: Why isn’t your business already as profitable as you want it to be? What’s the reason? Of all the reasons, what is the biggest single reason? Sometimes, asking and answering this question can be the push you need to trigger business development success.
8. What are the 20 percent of activities that account for 80 percent of your results?
Who are the 20 percent of your prospects who account for 80 percent of your sales? What are the 20 percent of things you do personally that account for 80 percent of your results? You will always have limited resources of time, money and people. You must therefore allocate these resources carefully in order to get the greatest return on your investment.
9. Based on your answers to above questions, what strategic plan of action should you take immediately? What should you do right now?
What should you stop doing? What should you discontinue altogether so that you have more time to work on those few things that can make the difference in your business?
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Brian Tracy is the CEO of Brian Tracy International, which specializes in business training, and the author of the best-selling Psychology of Achievement. For more information, go to www.briantracy.com.