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Plan - Perform - Score

The One Page Planning & Performance System

5 Questions For An Extreme Makeover of Your Business

Is your business on a journey but without a map? Do you have a plan and if so, do you actually use it to run your business? What are your vision, mission, objectives, strategies and action plans?

I have 5 simple yet provocative questions for you to answer to drive an “extreme makeover” of your business. These questions have remarkable power. They can evoke the clear, concise and focused thinking that can change the future course of your operation.

Question 1:

What are you building? This is your vision. What will your company look like in three years? How big will it be? What products and services will you offer? What markets will you serve? Who are your key customers?

  • A hypothetical company, let’s call PrintRite, answers this inquiry as:

"Within the next three years grow PrintRite into THE $3.25 million regional print provider of short run color mailing and creative marketing solutions to commerical and non-profit organizations."

  • PrintRite captures its future vision in one sentence. Can you do the same?

Question 2:

Why does this business exist? This is your mission. Why does the company exist from the perspective of the customer? What is your competitive edge? What do you want to be known for? Can you express it in a brief captivating way?

  • PrintRite answers this inquiry as:

We Make Your Image Spectacular!

  • PrintRite expresses a powerful message in five words. What about your mission?

Question 3:

What results will you measure? These are your objectives. What are the vital monthly financial, sales, marketing, operational, manufacturing, and customer service statistics that track your progress? Objectives should be numerical, graphable and highly visible to drive performance.

A few of PrintRite’s current year objectives are:
  • Increase sales by 5%Increase net profit to 6%
  • Achieve sales per employee of $125,000
  • Grow four-color printing volume by 20%
  • Reduce the number of returned jobs by 40%

Question 4:

How will you build this business? These are your strategies. How will you attract/retain customers? How will you price products and promote them? How will you use technology in the company? What type of strategic alliances will you form? What is your culture and management style? What is your exit strategy?

A few of PrintRite’s current year strategies are:

  • Expand services to existing customers by focus on mailing and marketing sectors.
  • Develop an open management style to create trust/security/opportunity for growth.
  • Reduce costs by consolidating offices.
  • Develop strategic alliances to build average customer revenue from add-on services.
  • Improve our service offering by adding digital/other services, more training and retention of key sales people

PrintRite’s strategies give it the methods to achieve its objectives. How will you achieve yours?

Question 5:

What is the work to be done? These are your action plans. What are the major projects will move the company forward? Who is responsible for their completion? When will they be completed?

A few of PrintRite’s current year action plans are:

  • Marketing to implement a 5% price increase by February
  • HR to hire and train 3 new salespeople; 1 in March, 1 in May, and 1 in July.
  • Facility manager to close east side strip mall location in August.
  • Operations VP to develop detailed intranet procedures manual for customer service and sales by September.
  • CEO to develop best practices program and launch “extreme makeover” staff training program by November.

There you have it; “five simple questions”. But what power they have to drive thinking about the future of your business. Remember “wishing is not a strategy”. Take the steps today to build the structure and focus that will drive your future results. Isn’t it time for an “extreme makeover” of your business?