Our Mission

JL Sears Consulting helps organizations and business teams boost profitability and productivity through strategic business planning, development of merchandise strategy and implementation of key execution tools.

Blog highlights
Receive Our Newsletter

 

 

See our current newsletter.

Social Media & Email

email email linked in 

 
« Inventory Management – 10 Guidelines To Insure That “Cash is King” | Main | You Have Survived, Grown, or are Launching – Time to Dust off and Update Your Business Plan »
Monday
Aug222011

Is It Time to Re-Assess your Business? If so, here are the Top 10 Questions to Answer 

Do you find your organization in one of the situations below?

  • Your business has stabilized and you need to increase efficiency.
  • It’s time for growth and you need to make sure you have the structure in place to execute.
  • Your organization is feeling “out of control” in the midst of growth.
  • Acquiring or adding another business or category, you want to understand how it will fit into your existing organization.
  • Your business is struggling so you need to identify the issues in order to explore options and map out next steps. 

Just in the last few months I have seen all of these scenarios. Wouldn’t it be great to “take a step back” and assess your business so that you can move it forward in the most productive way? Sometimes it seems like there isn’t enough time in the day. Having worked with many organizations to re-assess their business, I have seen it pay back big dividends – sales, profit, and productivity.

In any multi-channel retail or wholesale business objective answers to the ten questions below are crucial. With answers – along with detailed descriptions of “pain points” - where things are falling short – you can begin to map out your options for improvement. I know we’d all agree the “shot gun approach” or “crisis de-jour” has limited effectiveness. Everything is just too connected. Now for the ten questions:

  1. What are your current goals? How is your performance against these goals?
  2. How is your profitability? What are the challenges or opportunities – sales, margin, and expenses?
  3. Do you have enough cash or financing to grow or continue operations?
  4. Is your brand positioning clear – internally and externally?
  5. How do you stack up against your competition – new and existing?
  6. Are you able to develop and/or deliver a saleable and profitable product assortment – or service - that is “brand right” season after season?
  7. Are you able to manage and control inventory – “cash is king”?
  8. Do you have a good understanding of your current customers – demographics, psychographics, and their behavior?
  9.  Are you able to effectively market – get new customers and retain current customers?
  10. Do you have a strategy in place for your channels of distributions? Are you executing it?

In answering these questions - and developing improvement solutions – an assessment of people processes, and systems must be included. “People” includes the “boxes” or organizational structure along with the “talent” or people holding the positions. Both are critical to any assessment. Business processes must map to the organization. “Pain points” should be identified in order to begin to simplify processes. Computer systems are often “pain points” and also must be included in an assessment. Most often “buying a new system” is “not” the best answer though.

Obviously, any organization cannot solve everything all at once. Priority setting comes next. We have all seen many organizations fail by trying to do too much at once. With objective answers – to the ten questions - and priorities in hand, your organization can begin to map out a realistic game plan for improvement. Wouldn’t that feel good!

I can be contacted at Janice@JLSearsConsulting.com or at 206-369-3726. I’d love to hear about your assessment or business needs.

 

 

References (7)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: starting a website
    JL Sears Consulting - Blog - Is It Time to Re-Assess your Business? If so, here are the Top 10 Questions to Answer
  • Response
    Response: Www.flickr.com
    JL Sears Consulting - Blog - Is It Time to Re-Assess your Business? If so, here are the Top 10 Questions to Answer
  • Response
    Response: Www.flickr.com
    JL Sears Consulting - Blog - Is It Time to Re-Assess your Business? If so, here are the Top 10 Questions to Answer
  • Response
    JL Sears Consulting - Blog - Is It Time to Re-Assess your Business? If so, here are the Top 10 Questions to Answer
  • Response
    JL Sears Consulting - Blog - Is It Time to Re-Assess your Business? If so, here are the Top 10 Questions to Answer
  • Response
    Response: paper writing
    Every business man should have this time, where he can easy to access his business. This business can be going on the new advancement at the passage of time. He should have the accountant. Who has care about the accounts as well?
  • Response

Reader Comments (1)

Janice - Very insightful blog, think I have a client that could use this information as they look at 2012 planning.

Brenda

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Robinson

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>