Hear no evil!
Every business owner loves being audited. (no they don’t) Financial audits are necessary for compliance reasons and help protect your business from undue risk. Some would say they are a necessary evil, but my wife spent her early career as an auditor for Earnst & Young and I don’t associate her with evil. (Happy wife, happy life is my motto!)
So, when was the last time you audited your business practices? Not your books, your business.
- Why do you do things the way you do them?
- Are you selling to the right audience?
- Are your sales and marketing efforts working?
- Are you spending too much for too little return?
- Do you have the right mix of talent to meet your goals?
- Why do your customers buy from you? Why won’t they buy more?
- Are the things you are doing working?
Are you are satisfied with your results and see a history and a future of steadily increasing profits? Then you are golden. Don’t change a thing. If not, you need an audit. Here are a few more audit questions to ask yourself:
- who are your partners? why are they your partners? What value do they add?
- who specifically is your target market? why?
- how much do you spend trying to get new business?
- where do you spend the most of your money? why? what’s the ROI?
- what activities, expenses or programs are helping to sell more? how are they doing it?
- what activities, expenses or programs are pure overhead? can they be eliminated?
If you can’t answer these basic questions, you are running your business at less than potential profitability. There is a reason companies get audited by impartial third parties. Objectivity & purpose. Ask the tough questions and look for things you didn’t think about that can help your business. You can turn to your management consulting or accounting firm for some questions.
When it comes to asking tough sales, marketing and business development questions to help you sell more, who can you turn to?