If you are serious about reaching your goals in your business, you need to make it a habit to perform assessments on your business. Tracking success ensures that you are poised to build strategic plans, identify business strengths, and provides a solid foundation to make smart decisions. Business coach Jackie Nagel appropriately explains the importance of using assessments to plan for success. “Building a business assessment practice into your quarterly planning guides you through the growth and development of the essentials needed to grow your business to success that is sustainable and predictable.”
Reaching business goals is a major part of the strategies you will employ. “A business assessment ensures your business has what it needs to deliver on your goals,” Nagel continues. “It helps you expand and grow your business in a way that is smart and strategic. It provides a solid foundation for making sound decisions.” There are many different types of assessments you can complete, but the list below is a great starting point that can benefit whichever industry you’re in.
Knowing how effectively your business is managing finances is crucial. The most important part of assessing financials is ensuring proper record keeping is taking place. Otherwise, tracking goal progress is futile. Eric Elggren, Co-Founder of Andar shares the key performance indicators they assessed during this process. “We need to be managing our finances appropriately. Full stop. During our quarterly financial assessments, we review cash flow, forecasting, trends, overhead costs, sales, profits, and expenses.”
While these KPIs are also important to Marcus Hutsen, Business Development Manager at Patriot Coolers, they review other factors. “I need to know the why. Sure, the numbers are important, but I need the story behind them. Why did this happen? How can we adjust goals for the future? Are we getting the best return on our investment, and if not, why? My team knows that when we’re reviewing our budgets and reports, they need to be ready with the answers behind the numbers.”
“Market analysis is one of the crucial components to help business with all the required information and making wise business decisions,” shares industry expert Anirban Choudhury from Infiniti Research. Understanding your target market is crucial. But it doesn’t stop there. You also need to have a strong understanding of your competition and your place within the market. This can be ever-evolving information, which is why running periodic assessments is of vital importance.
Some key indicators in reviewing your marketing has to do with your target demographic. Who are your customers? Which customer base is the most profitable and which is the least profitable? Does your business anticipate expanding its target audience? What does the relationship with your demographic look like and how can you continue to nurture that? And then, you have to compare all of that information against your competition. Once you gather that knowledge, you’ll be armed with the tools you need to make smarter marketing decisions that align with the goals of your company.
Leadership, Management, and Employee Performance
Assessing your team – including yourself – is a key indicator in ensuring company success. “Growth is important for our employees,” shared Adam Nadelson, CEO of The IV Doc. “We dive in deep to each of our team member’s strengths and utilize those strengths. Who has exceptional time management skills? Who can we rely on to build solid business development plans? We also know that what’s considered weaknesses are really just areas of opportunity. We communicate heavily with our employees to identify how they want to grow. Which ‘weaknesses’ can we help them turn into a strength? How can we help them learn and grow?”
Your team is one of the greatest assets in your company. Ensuring that each person feels valued and supported in their work is worth the effort it takes. “Investing in your employees is never a poor business decision,” continues Adam Nadelson. “Their success is our success. If something’s not working, we turn to our team to strategize a solution together.”
“When assessing myself,” Adam Nadelson shared, “I first complete a self-assessment and then I’ll ask my team to identify my strengths and areas of improvement. I take a strong inward look at this information and map out how I can grow and improve. I’m open about this process with my team not only to give them similar tools for their own self-assessment, but to be open about personal growth.”
Processes and Technology
“In conjunction with what we do in the business, the most important key is how we do it,” shares Oliver Zak, CEO and Co-Founder at Mad Rabbit Tattoo on the importance of auditing the processes they use at their company. “Do we use effective processes? Are we implementing methods that produce quality work? Is the team finding our processes beneficial or more of a hindrance?” There are important assessments to complete to ensure that processes are being utilized in a way that benefits the business and allows for continued growth.
Oliver Zak continued, “We survey the team on each of the processes we use to get an idea of what’s working and what’s not. We value their opinions because we work as a team. We’re all working towards the same goal. If we do need to make changes to what we’re doing, we let the team in on the creation of updating and implementing new processes.”
One of the key pieces to assess in reviewing company processes is the technology used. Is it up to date? Is the team able to navigate it well? There are tons of tools available to help streamline the work your business does to make the entire process faster and easier. Review where these technologies can be improved or implemented as a method of increasing growth.
Growth cannot happen without frequent business assessments in multiple areas across your businesses. Continue to set goals for your company and come up with strategic plans to reach them. It requires some flexibility and changes, which can feel challenging, but are essential to achieving business success and realizing your goals.