Questions business owners should ask at least once a year


Close-up of a sparkler with out-of-focus city lights in the background

Head into the new year with clarity and defined goals by asking these seven questions.

At the new year, many of us take stock of our personal lives. We look at our successes, where we could improve and what we’d like to do in the future. Businesses can benefit from this kind reflection as well. Here are seven questions to help you reach greater success in 2019.

What went well in 2018?

Recognize and celebrate your wins! Often, business owners are so focused on the future they don’t recognize what is going well right now. Take time to acknowledge what went well so you and your team can build on your success.

What could we have done better this year?

A candid look at what could have been done better (without finger-pointing) puts your team in a position to do better next year.

What updates does your business plan need?

Your market isn’t static so why should your business plan be unchanged? What new trends, customer demands or updated technology have influenced your business this year? Update your plan to reflect current conditions.

Is it time to change prices?

Do any of these factors apply to your business:

  • The cost of materials has gone up
  • You started adding more value to your service
  • A competitor entered your market

Consider if you need to adjust prices up or down. (Get six pricing strategies here.)

Is staffing at the right level?

If your staff is always overwhelmed, take a look at the workload. Can some tasks be eliminated? Could they be spread out among several members? Does it make sense to outsource some activities? Is it time to hire a new team member? Bringing in new talent may be what you need to take your business to the next level.

How do you respond to online reviews?

With smartphones in virtually everyone’s pocket, it’s easier than ever for prospective customers to check out online reviews. How you respond to good and bad reviews can make buyers choose your company or move on to the next vendor.

If you don’t have one already, put a plan in place to thank those who post good reviews and to reach out to those who are dissatisfied.

Does your website need updates?

Website visitors will judge your business in the blink of an eye. Some studies show that people take only 0.05 seconds to decide whether to stay on your website or leave. Customers expect your site to look good on any device, be easy to navigate and to have current information. Make it easy for your customers to learn about your company and get in touch with you by updating your website.

Candidly answer these questions. Then use your discoveries to better serve your employees and customers in 2019. We wish you many successes in the new year!

Do you have business banking questions? Contact our knowledgeable business development managers or call 800-991-2221. We’re here to help you grow your business!

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