3 Game-Changing Inquiries that Improve Results

3 Game-Changing Inquiries that Improve Results


by Melanie Benson Strick

As the year comes to a close, many small business owners are creating a business growth game plan – and with it comes a lot of new ideas to put into action.

Before you do what you’ve always done (which by the way produces the same results you have right now), I’d like to suggest a slightly different approach to planning.


Evaluate before you plan.

When you have clarity about what’s working – and more importantly what’s not working, your planning process will improve because you focus on doing more of what works.

When I guide clients through a planning process, I always ask them these three “game changing” questions:


Question #1: How well are your offerings ACTUALLY performing?

Often an entrepreneur has absolutely no idea how well things are performing – especially if cash flow is not a problem. But high revenue isn’t the same as high profits. A revenue-rich but profit-poor business can create a lot of behind-the-scenes turmoil as the business owner struggles to make ends meet each month.

Take a hard look at how much profit each of your product lines is actually generating. How many do you sell each month? What is the cost to deliver on each of your offerings? How much time you and your team require to manage each offering?

Digging into the numbers can help illuminate poor-performing offers so that you can make an important decision – fix it or dump it.


Question #2: Is your time being focused on activities that catapult you — or causing slow, incremental growth?

Just because people are busy doesn’t mean they are actually producing results. One of the biggest profit drains an entrepreneur faces is investing time (and their team’s time) on activities that don’t produce quality results.

Take a look at where time is really going – what do you and your team spend most of your time on? Is this time moving the right initiatives forward?

If there is a lot of time wasted on tasks that don’t deliver revenue and results, it’s time for a new game plan. Look for decision bottlenecks that need to be eliminated with a better system or by hiring for a better fit.

Can productivity improve by eliminating time wasters? Look to improve areas where the wheel is recreated over and over again due to ineffective (or missing) systems, automation tools or poor decision-making.


Question #3: What marketing tactics generate your best sales?

Don’t just keep doing stuff because it’s what you’ve always done. Figure out what marketing activities actually work best to generate quality leads and sales then optimize them.

The Mirriam-Webster definition of optimize is “to make as perfect, effective, or functional as possible.” Instead of doing 20 things “okay” you figure out the top performing marketing strategies and tweak your process until it products at the highest level possible.

It’s easy to get caught up in popular marketing tactics and discover that they just don’t work for you, your business model or your best clients. Make a list of your best clients (you know, the ones that pay top dollar and are a dream to work with) and then figure out how they found you. Do more of that!

It does require mental discipline to follow this process but once you start to ask yourself and your team these kinds of questions, your business results will skyrocket because you operate a peak performance levels!




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