By Jael Strong
If you have ever purchased a home, you’re familiar with the home inspection scenario. A trained inspector comes to your prospective new home, he pokes and prods, checking the integrity of the plumbing, foundation, electricity, and so forth, and in the end he hands you his report. If there was such a thing as a perfect home, this wouldn’t feel so daunting, but everybody knows that inspector is going to find something wrong with the home that you have fallen in love with. And therein lies the problem: we don’t relish the thought of knowing that our perfect new abode has major flaws. But honestly, aren’t we ultimately glad to know the truth? At least then there is something we can do about it! When we know what is wrong, we can grab our caulking gun and get to work on those repairs.
The same is true in the business world. An inspection of our business and our business practices, while maybe not a pleasant task, is the only way to discover the flaws, or cracks, that need to be corrected.
We have choices
We can hire a professional, someone whose job it is to analyze our data and advise us on key areas for needed improvement. This is a fine idea for businesses with the financial resources needed to outsource. The cheaper alternative, and possibly the more effective one, is to be our own inspector. You know what you want out of your business more than anybody, so an introspective analysis can be very valuable.
This can be done annually, biannually, monthly, weekly, or even daily. My recommendation: do it daily. A brief daily analysis of business practices can be less overwhelming and allows for immediate action to be taken rather than waiting for a problem to get out of hand. Compare it to a daily stroll around your property, picking up trash, straightening the garden hose, organizing tools, etc. This type of daily checkup allows you to take care of small problems that contribute to the overall beauty of your property. The same can apply to your business.
Questions to ask yourself
Here are some questions you can use as a guide to discovering the cracks in your business. Once you’ve pinpointed one area that needs attention, use the next day to improve in that area. Bit by bit, the overall performance of the business will improve.
- Did I accomplish at least three of my goals for the day? If yes, great! If not, what stood in the way of accomplishing those goals? How could I have overcome that barrier?
- Is there a difficult situation that I handled very well? Is there one that I could have handled better? What were my alternatives in approaching that challenge?
- Did I work hard at building a better relationship with my clients? Was I honest and forthright at all times? Did I look for ways to satisfy the requests of my clients or did I look for shortcuts?
- Did my employees and co-workers handle the tasks for the day in a productive manner? What could I have done to help those I work with do an even better job?
- Was the overall mood of the day positive or negative? If positive, what specifically made it so? If negative, what could I have done differently to improve the atmosphere?
Be honest in your self-evaluation. Sit down with a cup of tea and really think about the answers to these questions. As you spot holes in your business, work hard at finding solutions that will satisfy the needs of your business. The type of proactive inspection can help you to build a solid foundation for a successful business.
About the Author
Jael Strong is a writer for TheWriteBloggers.com, a company dedicated to creating professional blogging content for increased internet visibility.