It’s weird how often, in the course of working with clients, especially related to marketing needs, we ask a client a question about an element within their program or business (marketing strategy, branding, responding to negative comments on social media, etc.,) and they say, “Oh yeah, we totally have that under control!”
They then proceed to read off what it is they have, and I’m surprised at how incomplete their information is.
Tunnel vision is a logical symptom of focus (we all have been guilty of single-mindedness) and you’re supposed to be focused on YOUR business, right?
There is an old saying that says, “What you treasure, you measure,” and “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it,” which is what most companies do. We latch onto one key performance indicator (KPI) and that becomes the central focus. Revenue, new customers, employee retention, calls scheduled, units sold, patent filed…these are all things that companies latch onto as the “One True” measure of a healthy business.
Not surprisingly, the treasured measurement will almost always improve because of the intense focus of attention and resources throughout the organization. That kind of focus can be great, in spurts, but dangerous if you are unaware of other aspects of your business, which is why you need to set aside the base metric and go beyond your common perception to perform an actual business assessment. We can help you with that, especially if your goal is innovation AND sustainability.
Let’s be honest, a broadened perspective, a more complete definition, and a fresh set of eyes ARE the reasons consultants exist, and we are primed to help you in with a diverse toolkit – our Professional Repository.
So, with reference to the above definition, let me share a few things that a business assessment is not.
- A business assessment is not statistics.
It will most certainly have stats as a part of it, but we are looking for a total health check…not just pulse and temperature.
Your current state isn’t just metrics, any more than your company is a just another business.
In addition to statistics, you need to think about some things that may be subjective or hard to quantify but are still vitally important when conducting a business assessment.
- A business assessment is not strategy.
Your strategy is key, but it IS NOT an assessment. In fact, you really should conduct an assessment before you create your strategy. They go hand in hand, but they are not interchangeable.
IMPORTANT: Where you are now is your assessment. Where you need to be is your strategy to get there.
You would be better served to build the capacity to conduct an accurate assessment of your normal business operations. Get that skill defined and on board, and save the consultants for when you already have a sense of your actual gap.
- A business assessment is not a financial assessment.
A financial analysis is only one component of a proper business assessment.
P&L statements, income statements, cash flows, balance sheets…these are all vital for the health of your business and reflective of your current state, but they are not the whole picture.
- A business assessment is not a marketing assessment.
Reviewing your marketing KPIs is part of the assessment process, but very far from giving you an accurate or complete assessment.
So, as you can gather from everything we’ve written so far, you don’t know WHAT you don’t know. It’s hard to know which elements to focus on to perform a truly effective business assessment…we can help you decide what you need and when.