If you're a small business owner, there are two main questions that you should ask yourself. Have you been working in your firm? Or have you been working on your company? While these questions seem to almost be identical, they're in fact quite distinct. Working in a business basically means doing whatever is necessary to ensure survival within a given field. On the other hand, working on a company involves trying to take the business to the next level by developing long-term strategies. This is where business consulting becomes relevant:
How did your small business perform last year?
Analyzing last year's business performance will be crucial when putting together a business plan for the following year. This is because you want to make sure your new business plan takes into account both the mistakes and effective business practices you made and applied last year.
Each year has its fair share of failures and successes, and being able to identify why your business performed well or poorly will help you improve down the road. In general, it's easier to assess business performance when marketing strategies are being implemented. But you may also consider reviewing the company's financial ratios as an alternative.
Have you set any business goals for 2015?
Profit maximization can only be reached when a business is running at full capacity. This means determining how much profit can be generated with the current resources. For example, if you set a given revenues goal and meet it well before the end of the fiscal year, then your current resources definitely allow you to aim higher. Put simply, there's room for business growth for the following year.
On the other hand, failure to meet the set goals indicates that the current resources weren't used efficiently or enough, and that the goals must be redefined.
Is your business moving towards the right direction?
The best way to answer this question is by conducting quarterly business performance reviews. These are different from the annual review because not only are they performed during the year, but they also enable to make adjustments to ensure that business objectives are still at sight. Applying this will considerably reduce your probability of failure since you'll have a strong hand on the direction in which your company is going.
Working with a business consulting firm will help grow your company in the long run by identifying areas that can be improved.