Serious Business Owner or Playing Office?

Most of us think of ourselves as serious business professionals, committed to the success of our businesses. But are we really? Do our actions truly reflect a serious commitment to success?

Are you a serious business owner or playing office?

A Kauffman Foundation study of 549 successful businesses showed that 93% of the business owners surveyed cited “not putting in the time and effort required” as the #2 most common barrier to entrepreneurial success next to failure to take risk. Are you devoting the time and effort required to grow your business and reach your personal and financial goals?

The following is a simple test that should help provide you with some clarity and answers regarding your focus and level of commitment to building a successful business.

Provide either a “Yes” or “No” response to each of the 10 questions below to find out where you are today.

  1. Do you have a detailed written business plan that includes your strategy, an overall market analysis, product/service plans, sales and marketing plans, 3-5 year financial projections, and an exit strategy?
  2. Have you implemented a comprehensive sales and marketing system to enable your business to scale and to achieve its short- and longer-term objectives in terms of customer adds, revenues, profits, etc.?
  3. Do you have a written Vision Statement, Mission Statement and Customer Value Proposition (CVP) for your business, and do you review and update each at least quarterly?
  4. Have you completed a thorough competitive assessment and SWOT analysis for at least your Top 3 major competitors to see how your business stacks up against the competition?
  5. Do you have detailed cold calling plans that include customer profiles, target prospect lists, cold calling scripts and defined metrics, and do you allocate time weekly to cold calling for new business?
  6. Are you spending more time prospecting for new business on all fronts vs. socializing on the various social media sites – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.?
  7. Do you routinely (twice per year) survey your customers to determine what they like and dislike about doing business with you, and to identify their additional requirements?
  8. Are you receiving at least 3-5 new qualified referrals per week from your collective networking activities?
  9. Are you spending more money today on advertising, marketing and promoting your business than on personal development, self-help and “feel good” seminars and programs?
  10. Do you really think you are going to make $1 million or more this year on the latest online “get rich scheme” you bought into?

If you answered “Yes” to question #10 go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200! If you answered “No” to five or more of the questions above, you may be guilty of playing office. However, don’t despair; all of our businesses are works in progress. As business owners we have a litany of things to be done, done better or done differently to improve business performance and ensure our future success.

This simple test is just a guideline or tool to help you identify some of the key areas where you may need to focus additional time, energy or resources in the coming months to grow your business. If you are a serious business owner take time to review your responses to these questions, and then take action to address the areas of concern as part of your 2021 business and/or recovery plans.

Enjoy the journey!


COPYRIGHT © 2009-21 John Carroll