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Ken Keller: How is your business achieving its goals?

Brain Food For Business Owners

Posted: May 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 13, 2012 2:00 a.m.

The first four months of 2012 are in the history books. How did your company do? How did you do?

Having a tactical orientation is great but an owner has a responsibility to be strategic.

Simply put, anyone can drive, but the strategic thinker looks at the map and plans the route for the trip. Failure to do so could mean costly delays, running out of gas, arriving late to the destination.

Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” is a classic book on success. Hill’s research was conducted during a time of economic slowdown; not too dissimilar to what we are experiencing today.

Reflection is essential to great insight and results. Here are 15 questions, adapted to 2012, from “Think and Grow Rich” worth asking. 

If I had been the purchaser of my own company’s goods and services in the first four months of this year, would I have been satisfied with what I received?

Have the purchasers of my company’s goods and services been satisfied with the purchases, and if not, why not? (What am I doing to find out?)

In what ways has my company rendered more service and better service than what the customer has paid for? (How do I know?)

Has my company delivered service to customers in the best possible quality which it was capable or could we improve any part of
the service? (Can we do better and if so, how?)

Has my company delivered the service to customers in the greatest possible quantity which we were capable? (Or do they want less?)

Have I personally attained the goal for which I established as my own objective for the year?

(This question is based on Hill’s research that suggests a person who desires success should have a definitive yearly objective to be attained as part of a major life objective. The question to be asked is, “Have a set a goal for myself in 2012?”)

Have I been persistent in following my plans through to completion? (Am I measuring this?)

Have I reached decisions promptly and definitely on all occasions? (If I am delaying, what is the source of the delay?)

Have my opinions and decisions been based upon guesswork or accuracy of analysis and thought? (Am I guilty of deciding based on the last person I speak to?)

Have I permitted the habit of procrastination to decrease my efficiency, and if so, in what ways? (Why am I procrastinating?)

How much time have I devoted to unprofitable effort which I might have used to better advantage? (What do I need to stop, start and stay doing to get me to my goals?)

How may I rebudget my time and change my habits so I will be more efficient during the next eight months of 2012? (Just because there are 168 hours in a week does not mean I have to work them all!)

Has the spirit of my conduct been harmonious and cooperative at all times? (Am I setting an example to be a nice person to all I deal with?)

Has my conduct toward my associates been such that it has induced them to respect me? (And, do I respect them?)

Have I been open-minded and tolerant in connection with all subjects?

The easiest way to tackle these questions is to address five at a time over a period of three days.

Don’t be afraid to ask yourself these questions. The answers are intended to improve focus and effectiveness. 

  Ken Keller is CEO of STAR Business Consulting Inc., a company that works with companies interested in growing top line revenue. He can be reached at Keller’s column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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