The Toughest Question Many Business Owners Need to Answer

Mark Parton

Mark Parton

Mark has 25+ years of call center experience and is a lifetime entrepreneur. He is the founder of Call For Wine which he scaled and sold in 2010. His new passion as the founder of Incremental Business, is to help small businesses grow and thrive.
Mark Parton

I read an article recently in Bloomberg that said 8 in 10 businesses fail in the first 18 months and according to Tony Robbins, 96% of all businesses fail in the first ten years. The more I thought about these disturbing statistics, the more I wanted to dig into why this happens. I started reflecting on my own experience building and growing a company and realized there is one question the owner needs to answer—and answer it honestly. That question is, “Is your business struggling and are you concerned about the company’s future”?

Once I got that one out of the way, it was really a matter of breaking things down to see how could I compartmentalize some of the challenges in the business and start fixing things. This group of questions will help to prioritize what needs to be done.

These first six questions were based on the processes a business owner has in place. They are:
  • What is your plan or are you just winging it?
  • Is cash flow tight and do you struggle with things like payroll?
  • Where do your customers come from and how do you nurture them?
  • What is your strategy to generate new business and are you executing on it?
  • How do you manage communications with clients and prospects and what is your strategy? Do you or your team call them? Email? Social media?
  • How are you tracking what you and your employees are doing?
These last two questions are “Quality of Life” questions and are important to making sure your candle doesn’t burn out too fast. They are:
  • Has your business become overly stressful and do you constantly feel pressure?
  • Are you spending enough time with your family?

Answering all of these questions, and answering them honestly takes a lot of courage. The employees rely on the business owner to know when it’s time to admit they need help. There is no shame in asking for help, but business owners don’t see it that way and many times simply don’t know who to ask. But if you’re an employee and you see it happening, sometimes it’s just a matter of having an honest discussion. It shows the owner you genuinely care.

Are you worried about your business or the company you work for and looking for answers? Join our new Facebook group where employees and business owners can ask questions and get answers.

NEXT BLOG – If I’m an employee, what are the signs your employer needs help and how do I approach them?

96% of all businesses fail, don’t let it happen to yours.

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