There’s a lot we can’t know yet about business going forward as various aspects of the economy inch toward and through their own re-opening. Which suggests it may make sense to re-examine what we think we do know.
These twenty questions are deceptively simple; getting to the right answers can and should be challenging. If you haven’t asked these questions lately, they may be the very best place to start planning your pandemic, and post pandemic, futures...
1. Why are you in business?
2. What do you want to achieve?
3. How will you get where you’re going?
4. How do you make money?
5. Why you; why do people want to work for you; your consumers buy from you; your clients/partners come to you?
6. What’s your profile in the market; where are you strongest; weakest; why?
7. What’s your unique point-of-view on the key drivers and deliverables in your category?
8. What are the distinguishing components of your offering – the key features, benefits, and attributes?
9. What's your company’s culture?
10. How do you all measure success?
11. How satisfied are your customers?
12. What do they have in common; how do they differ? Who’s your ideal customer?
13. What’s your rate of repeat business; referred business?
14. How have your customers’ wants and needs evolved over the past three years?
15. How have they evolved over the past six months; the last 90 days; the last 30?
16. Has your offering evolved accordingly; have your competitors?
17. How does your enterprise address your brand; marketing; innovation; and sales? What’s working; what’s not; why?
18. Who’s your primary competition; how strongly established are they?
19. How did you finish the first quarter of 2020?
20. What’s the current plan for the balance of the year? For 2021?
Of course, if you already have all the answers, now might be a good time to check how they inform your go-to-market strategy; and if they're delivering the results you require.
About the Author: As the Founder and Principal of Five Mile River Marketing, Lou helps companies from the Fortune 500 to venture backed start-ups look ahead, embrace change, and sustain success. A versatile business strategist, Lou’s expertise in marketing, branding, and innovation have made him a trusted advisor to some of the world’s most enduring businesses and well-regarded brands, including: AT&T, Castrol, Citigroup, Fed Ex, Labatt, Nestlé, Nikon, P&G, Sara Lee, Schweppes, and UPS. Five Mile River Marketing offers services from defining the value proposition and go-to-market strategy to leadership facilitation and alignment; from business and integrated marketing planning to creating a dynamic brand positioning; and from how to become a truly consumer-centric organization to effective corporate, marketing, and employee communications.