January is a good time to step back for a more strategic look at your customers and prospects and, perhaps, to help them articulate their plans more clearly so we can help them more powerfully.
While we could ask dozens of questions covering every part of their strategy, operations, and finance, here are five that start the ball rolling in a constructive direction:
1. What’s your assessment of your business now, as of the end of last year? Consider:
- Competitive position
- People and operations
- Cash flow
2. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year? Consider:
3. What are your most important objectives for the coming year? Consider:
- New products and services
- Internal infrastructure, control, and efficiency
- Cash flow acceleration
- If everything goes flawlessly, how do you see the year?
4. What significant challenges or opportunities do you expect? Consider
- Industry changes? Competitor changes? Costs or prices? People?
- How will they affect your company (sales, costs, cash flow, people)?
- How will you handle them?
5. How do you expect the year will go from a financial perspective? Consider
- What product or service will make you the most money?
- What customers will make you the most money?
- How will your cash flow be affected by your plans and the challenges you face?
(c) Clarity Advantage Corporation, 2009. All rights reserved.