Running a business requires you to constantly respond to the needs and concerns of your customers, employees, and your market. But when is the last time, you responded to the needs of the most critical person to the success of your business – you?
With all the daily responsibilities of managing your business, it's easy to lose track of your own needs, challenges, and plans for your business. Fortunately, there's a very easy way to fix that – ask yourself.
Here are five questions to get you started:
- What's the financial health of my business? Just as you go for regular checkups at the doctor, it's important to check on the financial health of your business. Do you know your revenues and expenses? Have your profits increased or decreased? Can you identify your top customers? Be sure to run your financial statements and to look at your sales to spot trends and identify your most important customers.
- Where do I want to take my business in the coming year? As the captain of your business, you're responsible for setting the course. Ask yourself where you would like to take your business in the coming year. Would you like to expand into new markets or offer new products? Or would you like to scale back? Write down your goals and ways you can measure your performance with them at the end of the year.
- How is my work/life balance? It's great to have a successful business, but if that business is taking you away from spending time with your loved ones or doing the things you love to do, it's time to bring in some extra help and make adjustments.
- What are my strengths and weaknesses? If you have employees, you're probably used to conducting performance evaluations. Why not evaluate yourself? Are there areas where you shine or need improvement? If you're lacking in certain areas, explore ways you can improve, such as taking courses, developing new skills, or even hiring someone that has strengths in the areas that are challenging for you.
- Where do I see my future and the future of my business? The start of the year is a great time to plan for the long-term future of your business. Do you expect to retire from the business in the near future? And if so, what will be your exit strategy? You may, for example, be thinking about turning over your business to a family member or putting it up for sale. Take some time to think about your long-term plans and what makes the most sense for you.