Are you happy with your business this year? What are you going to do differently? How can you hire the right people to sustain your vision? Sadly, many small business owners do not use enough time planning for the future. It’s quite understandable. Managers must keep speed with the daily demands of their businesses, including payroll, taxes, product/service delivery, and customer expectations.
Fortunately, the end of the year is the perfect time for a comprehensive evaluation of your company. Your business needs a checkup. Most people can relate to a checkup with their local doctor, depending on their background and personality characteristics (age, sex, family medical history). The doctor will conduct a variety of tests, including blood, vision, heart, and hearing.
In fact, one component like an individual’s weight is not the only indicator of overall good health. Likewise, small businesses could assistance from a good checkup too. Successful entrepreneurs think strategically when engaged in a hostile, global ecosystem.
After 27 years of managing projects and conducting over 100 organizational evaluations of business organizations, I realize that both large and small organizations struggle in implementing their operations effectively. This article examines how small businesses need to conduct an effective checkup of their organizations.
Welcome to the New Normal! in addition, nearly a year after this pandemic, the complete impact on the U.S. economy is unclear. According to recent studies, more than four million Americans have left the workforce, and nearly 10 million are now unemployed compared with last February.
In fact, the number of unemployed people continues to rise. According to a business study conducted between March 28 and April 4, 2020, small businesses have been heavily damaged by the lockdowns due to Covid-19.
In an examination of more than 5,800 small businesses (reaching a network of 4.6 million small businesses), the research highlighted the damage caused by the pandemic. The results showed apparent damage of the pandemic. At this juncture, 43% of businesses had temporarily closed, and nearly all of these closures were due to COVID-19.
Respondents stated that they had temporarily closed, largely pointed to reductions in need and employee health concerns as the reasons for closure. In fact, the businesses, on average, reported having reduced their active employment by 39% since January.
All industries have been impacted. However, retail, arts and entertainment, personal sets, food sets, and hospitality businesses showed meaningful employment declines exceeding 50%. Some businesses hope for assistance from the government.
According to a Babson’s Goldman Sachs report, 88% of U.S. small business owners have already depleted their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan; the Small Business Association gave these loans specifically to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the pandemic. These loans were helpful.
in addition, these successes do not diminish the fact that more than 32% of PPP loan recipients already have laid off employees or cut wages. In fact, Forty-three percent of Black small business owners reported that their businesses’ cash reserves would be depleted by year’s end due to Covid-19.
Today’s small businesses and entrepreneurs must retool themselves, given the possible impacts of Covid-19 have the necessary capacity to change their way of thinking because of their passion. However, small businesses must be willing to estimate their current operations and make the required changes.
For example, customers have largely gone online to buy sets due to the lockdowns. If a business does not have an online presence now, this company does not exist. Internet pioneer and CEO of PSINet Bill Schrader explains the meaningful of online visibility: “Almost overnight, the Internet’s gone from a technical surprise to a business must.”With the appropriate diagnosis of an organization, a business can develop more sustainable success. consequently, the right checkup is basic.
Below are some basic questions to help you conduct your own self-checkup:
- Do you have a clear vision for your business? What is it?
- Do you know why your customers buy from you and why others do not buy from you?
- What results are you getting from your marketing? Do you have an effective online presence on the web?
- Are you collecting data or the right kind of data on your customers and competitors?
- Are you keeping speed with your industry trends? If so, what are the meaningful trends?
- How are you measuring results (i.e., meaningful performance indicators like cash flow and revenue)?
- What are your meaningful competitors’ marketing strategies?
- Have you evaluated your strengths and weaknesses (i.e., SWOT examination)?
In summary, successful global businesses, like IBM and Google, have continuous systems in place to estimate their performance. Let’s call this course of action an organizational checkup.
Small businesses that want to succeed in this global and technological climate must be able to conduct this self-evaluation or checkup. This article demonstrated the relevancy of a good checkup to help enhance a business by asking probing questions. In many situations, small businesses do not have to take on this organizational checkup along.
There are various organizations like the Small Business Administration and local universities that can assist in this course of action. Have you conducted a checkup for your business this year? It’s not too late. Start the new year with a healthy business checkup.
© 2021 by D. D. Green