To grow your business, you need a vision and information about your current business (see my first two blogs in the series). Next, you need some perspective on how things need to change to get to your goals. This can be hard to get! While you are an expert in your business, you may only know what you know or need to know. It’s time to broaden your views.
To get perspective, analyze your business history:
- What went wrong? Take some time to look at the mistakes your business has made in the past year and determine what you could have done differently to avoid those problems. Was it a communication issue, a process problem or a stand-alone issue due to the nature of the customer? Brainstorm how to address the issues to avoid them in the future.
- What went right? Look at the things that went right in your business during the past few years. Why did you win that major bid? What did you do to deserve referrals? What staff, processes or services really led to these successes? How can you replicate them?
Don’t forget to look at things from other perspectives:
- Put on the lens of your customer. What do they see when they work with you? What is the biggest value you provide?
- Now look through the eyes of a business process consultant. What would he or she see if the consultant evaluated your company? How about your vendors?
Understanding other perspectives is a valuable way to see opportunities for changes that will bring big returns. This analysis can be really difficult because we are all so enmeshed in our own businesses. Remember, there is no harm in hiring a consultant if you need an unbiased expert opinion.