Tuesday, February 24, 2015

5 Questions You Should Never Assume are Answered

Some questions have easy answers. Other questions are more difficult to answer but, once they are answered, can be put out of your mind. It’s those questions that fit into neither category that can sneak up and get you. Following are the questions you will need to answer over and over again if you want to achieve lasting success.

1 – What is my competition doing?

The goal here is not to be a copycat or a worrier. The goal is to understand how another similar business operates in the same space. Why are they doing what they are doing and how are they doing it? You need to understand your competition almost as well as you understand your business.

2 – Why are we here?

This is not about what do we do or when do we do it. This is a question that gets to the core motivations of the decision makers in the business. If you do not understand why you exist, then your customers will have no reason to believe you can solve their problems or meet their needs. At that point, you really don’t have a reason to exist. Make sure you are meeting a need in a way that supports your larger Reason for Being.

3 – Can we do better?

This question can apply to both the product and the method. Are there ways you can reduce spending without damaging product quality? Can you improve production efficiency without hurting your workforce? How can you do better? Where? This question is not about vague ideas or gut feelings. This is all about tangible, quantifiable results.

4 – Do we have the right people in the right places?

If there is a Most Important question on this list, this one might be it. None of the other questions matter if you have the wrong people doing the wrong things. In that situation, you will never be your best or achieve anything close to optimal results. Take the time to build your team right, and then periodically reevaluate those decisions.

5 – How are my people doing?

This question is not about units moved or projects completed or any other quantifiable success metric. This is all about your team’s emotional status. Are they excited, frustrated, discouraged or hopeful? Why? How can we improve morale? This is a vital question that will help you evaluate your priorities and shortcomings. If you can successfully motivate your team, you will find yourself routinely doing what might otherwise seem impossible.

Each of these questions is important in its own right. While there may not be a “right” answer that fits every single business – or even a right answer that remains the same for your business – you need to have a GOOD answer to each of these questions. And you must never stop asking them.

Gennady Barsky is the CFO of JetSmarter and Real Estate Mogul. Barsky is a lover of all things automobile and has a passion for Social Media.

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