Raymond works actively with us and asking him this question would let me know where the main problematic areas of the business are. Running this business I feel that more often than I would like I am working in the business rather than on the business. It really takes someone that is further out from the center of the business to give me another perspective on what the priorities should be. I have my own set of priorities, but what matters most to parties that I need buy-in from?
Here were the four things that Raymond mentioned:
1. Sales funnel and a cult-like adherence to a process. Also included in the funnel is a estimate of $ value/qualified prospect with probability of close within 30, 60 and 90 days. This way we see actual sales and a projected discounted sales pipeline. Great suggestion - we're definitely focusing too much on signing up clients and not doing the greatest job of keeping track of our sales activities. This needs to be cleaned up in the next week.
2. Product Mgmt process: where new products or services are contemplated. This is the where we work ON the business and not IN the business Like I said, this is what I need to work on - there's one problem - I can't delegate a lot of the work that I handle such as banking operations and transaction processing.
3. Customer satisfaction metrics. - this is extremely important for us since our business depends heavily on recurring transactions. We are working on several ideas to pump up recurring transactions and we will see results this month.
4. A peer or formal board and mgmt review every month (using some sort of Balanced Score Card) I have admittedly been slacking in this area; we do have a weekly progress review with Raymond but my Toronto advisors are probably wondering what the heck is going on out in Vancouver. This can be fixed by simply sharing our meeting minutes from every week with our advisors. Smack myself on the head - why am I not doing that already?
I encourage you to ask yourself and your advisors similar questions on a continual basis. The more often you work ON the business and not IN the business, it will help focus your thoughts on where to take the business. Admit where in the business things are going wrong and work to improve it!