While you plan and grow your business via build, buy and/or partnering strategies, it is useful to review these five areas and to monitor them frequently. You will more readily identify business weaknesses in areas such as finance, marketing and sales, and operations and be able to strengthen your business development and growth along the way. Study what did and did not work for your business and others, then develop steps you can take that will see you through to your goals.
Exploring 5 Key Areas of Focus for Building Business
A few questions to get you on your way to productive periodic review and strategic planning...
1. Customer statistics and economics:
What's the size of your target market(s)? What are the customer needs and how are you investigating this? How many customers did you have and for how long did they remain customers? How much does it cost to acquire and retain customers? Does tracking by customer demographic (e.g., gender, ages, or other criteria), provide insights?
2. Product and service statistics:
What products and services do customers currently buy from you? How successful are existing offerings? Why? What other complimentary and competing products and services are customers buying and from whom? What does this mean for your product/service development pipeline and ultimate business opportunities?
3. Business volume, month by month:
What does the price/quantity relationship for products look like and is your pricing approach competitive? Look for patterns or relationships with marketing efforts as well as seasonal and/or community events that may impact your business. Does your business increase seasonally or with holidays? Does this vary by market? Can you time your market entry and/or product development this year to capitalize on any of these cyclical patterns? Are you doing that?
4. Market characteristics and environmental changes:
How is your company's visibility in your top markets, and how can it be extended to new markets? How will you work with partners and through various distribution channels to maintain as well as create visibility and your company's product and service awareness? Are there news stories or events this year around your company, products, services, or your competitors in various markets? What regulatory, economic, or social characteristics of markets will impact your success now and in the future?
5. Business operational requirements:
Are infrastructure or development agreements (e.g., leases, asset acquisition, partnership, R&D contracts, etc.) in place? Is this the year to incorporate or establish new business entities to accommodate growth plans? Do your existing business policies and procedures extend to new markets or do they need to be revised? Does corporate and/or product marketing collateral need to be up-dated? Can office procedures be streamlined, automated or contracted out for more efficient productivity? Is your team motivated to work toward business goals? Are you seeing progress?