A small business checkup is similar to getting your car serviced. Often times we get caught up in the commute–the back and forth–and we don’t take proper time to check under the hood and make sure everything is running properly. Perhaps you need an oil change, or a tire rotation, or a new air filter. This is all necessary to keep things running smooth and to avoid a more expensive repair down the road.
Small business owners are always on the go. Slowing down once and a while to “take a look under the hood” is a great way to address small changes, to get more strategic, and to help prioritize your roadmap. A regular checkup can prove vital in helping a business continue to grow and hit their goals.
Why should you conduct a checkup of your business?
Business owners wear many hats, and are often responsible for all aspects of their business. A business review allows for time and reflection to help uncover missed opportunities. It also enables you to think about your business more strategically so you can set and achieve short and long-term goals.
How do you conduct a checkup of your business?
Start with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. This will help get your thoughts down on paper, and help you take a step back from your day-to-day interactions with your business. Using your PaySimple data is a great way to also assess metrics and trends within your business. Researching industry trends and how they compare to your own trends is important to help get a finger on the pulse of your competitors.
After completing your checkup, what should you do next to improve your business?
Be honest with yourself and hold yourself accountable—this is super important. If you have other people working with you, fold them into the process and delegate things accordingly. Creating a 30/60/90 day plan is a great way to keep your goals tangible, and gives you a timeline as to when the goals you set for you and your business should be met.
What kind of feedback or insights can you expect to see from this process?
Many times, a business review is a time for quiet reflection. I am not a business owner, so I can only imagine how thinly business owners are spread. Carving out a few hours to do a deep dive into your business will help you ask tough questions: How should I allocate my funds? How can I better control my cash flow? Who is my ideal customer? Where do I begin to uncover this information? Through the PaySImple reporting tool, this information can be uncovered and leveraged to help navigate a business review.
When helping a business owner conduct a review, I have found that this process can help expose features within the PaySimple platform they didn’t know about, or that they hadn’t considered diving into before, to give transparency and help grow their business.
When and how often should you conduct a small business checkup?
Most businesses will do some sort of reflection or review at least once a quarter to ensure they are on track with previous goals. I would suggest making it the same day each quarter, mark it on your calendar and hold yourself accountable.
What resources will help you along the way?
A great way to see both what customers are looking for, as well as how your competitors are adapting to industry conditions is to attend events with people within your industry. Looking at meetup.com and seeking out events via your local Chamber of Commerce are great places to start.
What can you do throughout the year to make your business checkup easier?
After having one or two business reviews under your belt, carry forth a template and action plan that works for you. Present your plan and your template to those that you trust to give you supportive and constructive feedback and have this be a living, breathing part of your business.