The 7 Vital Questions Every Organization Needs to Answer

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December 7, 2012

Having an effective growth planning system is the best indicator of whether your company will grow.”  – Stephen S. Little, Author

According to research funded by Inc. magazine, 88% of businesses have no planning process. As a result of inadequate planning, most small business people are just working too hard for the results they produce. So,

  • If you have worked too hard and would now prefer working smarter,
  • If you have been frustrated by your lack of progress and would like to, accelerate your growth and profitability,
  • If you are ready to plan and achieve your better future

Then you need to get started now. And you can. But, it starts with climbing a mountain.

Every individual and every organization has a mountain to climb. The mountain represents our highest hopes and aspirations, our highest calling, and our greatest contributions.

Over the past three decades of working with hundreds of businesses and thousands of business owners to grow more productive and profitable enterprises, one truth has become preeminent – a clear plan and effective execution create extraordinary results.

And to get there –to achieve the increased employee engagement, customer satisfaction, revenues and profits— it all comes down to honestly answering just a handful of questions.

The Seven Essential Questions to Business Growth:

  1. What Mountain are you going to climb? (Vision)
  2. Why are you climbing that mountain? (Mission)
  3. How will you treat others along the way? (Values)
  4. How will you measure your progress? (Objectives)
  5. What big issues must be addressed? (Current Realities)
  6. How will you successfully climb the mountain? (Strategies)
  7. Who will do what by when to make it happen? (Priorities)

At first glance, you may not think these seven questions could turn around your business, but, in my experience, when answered openly and honestly (that’s the key), these seven questions serve as a powerful catalyst to help you:

  •  Plan and achieve a better future
  • Engage people’s best efforts
  • Build a cohesive and collaborative team
  • Achieve higher levels of success
  • Get more done in less time

Many businesses fail to grow because they have not clearly answered these fundamental questions. Individuals and organizations are meant to climb, to achieve, and to make significant contributions.

Unfortunately, too many dreams for a better future never evolve into planning and achieving.  Many businesses never answer the seven essential questions and, as a result, they miss out on untold opportunities or cease to exist.

But, here’s the good news, developing a clear and simple business growth plan does not have to be overly complicated and time-consuming. You can fit your organization’s plan on a single sheet of paper (so it’s easy to edit as you adapt to the ever-changing marketplace). Sure, you have to cut a lot of verbiage, but getting the plan on a single sheet of paper forces you to become really clear about what’s most important.

You can even develop a plan to grow your business in less time than most people spend talking about the need for a plan. And, if you’re looking for a little push to get started, I can help. My business growth plan system, 1Hour2Plan, makes it easy for you to organize your information, answer your 7 essential questions, and build a business growth plan that doesn’t just gather dust on the shelf. Check it out and see what you think!

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” So, by starting with the seven essential questions, you will be on your way … cutting through the complexity and getting clear about: where you’re going, the issues you’re currently facing, and, of course, how you’re going to get from where you are now to where you want to be in the future.

Let’s continue the business growth plan conversation. Leave a comment below, post on my Facebook page, or Tweet me @JoeCalhoon.

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