The health of your business is very similar to your personal health. For example, the benefit of a regular checkup is it ensures that you stay on a path for sustained success. While many business leaders begin each year with a revitalized annual business plan, some forget the essential mid-year checkup.
To ensure you’re moving your business in the right direction, and to determine if you’ve unintentionally taken on any “unhealthy” habits since the beginning of the year, here’s a list of checkup points to review, that will keep your business healthy, focused, and profitable.
I have a plan that’s being implemented - why do I need a checkup?
Similar to your car, even though you have it tuned up periodically, it also has an on-board computer that monitors its health for preventive reasons. Yes, the “Check Engine” light actually serves a purpose. The mid-year business checkup will give you an early warning on problem areas: “Check Operations," “Check Sales," etc.
Starting the year with a plan is a terrific first step but business situations are consistently changing. In fact, in addition to using this time to make necessary adjustments to head off bad situations, this is also a time to take advantage of any new opportunities that were not anticipated six months ago.
Areas to monitor…
Let’s keep it concise. Here are four areas that you should check at mid-year:
Your customers: Are you keeping them satisfied? Revisit the measures on how theyassess your performance (delivery, quality, service, etc.). Pick up the phone and talk with them – listen. They will tell you what they want and what they don’t want. Take this opportunity to make corrections.
Your operations: This could be sales, marketing, customer service, manufacturing… essentially, all areas of your business value stream. Each of these operations has key metrics that serve as a health monitor. For example, in sales it could be your “opportunity pipeline” or in manufacturing is could be a “quality”. Think in terms of a business dashboard.
Your employees: Highly engaged employees and high performing teams are a must for your organization to succeed. Assess you talent pool for habitual under-performers – manage them to an acceptable level or weed them out. But more importantly, make sure you are retaining your best talent. Top performers become bored (and consider external options) when they are not challenged – take an inventory.
Your financials: Look at costs, revenue, profits, and cash flow. Monitor them closely and often, however, not at the expense of the three preceding areas. It is all about finding the right balance.
Take action after the checkup.
So, how did you measure up? Don’t worry if you’ve exposed some areas that need adjustment or improvement—that is the whole point of the checkup. By performing this check at least by mid-year (though it makes best sense to check some items quarterly), you give yourself time and opportunity to make important as well as opportunistic changes in your plan.
SKYE Business Solutions helps leaders discover their purpose: the driving force behind your organization’s ability to achieve. Purpose empowers leaders to recognize value; creating a culture of engagement, contribution, and trust. SKYE propels your leadership to the next level: pushing through the ordinary to unlock the full potential throughout all levels of your organization.