It’s amazing that business owners and employees feel that they can’t stop working so much because they are afraid of not succeeding, providing for their family, worrying about every little problem, but forgot how to enjoy what they’re doing. Many people have come through this to where they give up their entire life to figure out how this balance is supposed to happen, and I’ve often joked about starting a support group for the spouses who are left at home taking care of home life because they were the ones managing the family.
There are 3 key questions that I ask new clients when I do an initial consultation to figure out how the entire business picture looks, what they’re trying to accomplish, and where their potential pitfalls are that we need to work towards correcting.
1. What is your Plan B?
So many business owners, whether they make $50 thousand a year or $15 million a year, they have no plan as to what’s supposed to happen if they become incapacitated or even pass away.
a. How is the family moving forward with a business they know nothing about?
b. What happens to the customers and vendors that need service and payment?
c. Does anyone know what’s going on regarding the finances, tax returns, etc.?
2. What do you, as the client, want?
It’s amazing that people assume all I do is enter numbers into a tax software and pull out the information needed to file a tax return, but if I don’t know what the goal is from those reports then what’s the plan to help move forward?
a. Are you looking to sell the business or pass it on to someone in the next 5 years?
b. How much do you want to grow the business which may mean hiring employees, being more social media savvy for selling who you are, and who’s coming in behind you to be a cheerleader?
c. Are you working to spend more time with your family and enjoy the life we’re given since we have only one shot at it?
3. What’s your biggest challenge?
It’s always “getting more customers” as the answer but there’s often no plan as to how to handle that.
a. Is there a budget on your marketing that you’re following and making sure it’s making good business decisions?
b. Are your current customers happy with what you provide and are you getting the feedback you need to deliver properly?
c. Do you ask your customers for referrals?
No, it’s not something that has changed over hundreds of years as to what makes business’ successful, but the question is what makes a difference in your own life as to what you want to accomplish. We’re given one chance at life, and a friend from decades ago showed me a wooden sign they had made for their office, which was “this is no dress rehearsal.”
Dwayne J. Briscoe