tune up imageIs your business model firing on all cylinders? These questions will help determine if your business needs some tweaks or a major overhaul before kicking it into gear. After all, it is pointless to step on the gas if the engine is misfiring. At best, you under-deliver vs. your goals. Worst, the engine breaks down entirely and you come to a screeching, unprofitable halt. Here are six questions to asked yourself to decide if your  business needs a tune-up. The questions and the follow-up questions that each drives address the most important aspect of a business.

1. Who is your target customer? What types of companies and management teams are most valuable to you? How do we recognize and priorities customer opportunities?

2. How do you gain and keep customers? What is your approach to marketing and pipeline development? How do you convert relationships into profitable clients? How do you keep the customers you have gained?

3. How do you serve customers? What is your staffing model? How well are you executing that model? What is your plan to build on the intellectual capital you have and continue to build more capital?

4. How do you price your services? When should you sell services at a discount, and toward what end?How do you price your services in fee-based vs. equity-based relationships?

5. How do you attract and retain talent? What type of people do you want to hire (skills, cultural fit)? How do you recruit and hire effectively and efficiently? How do you develop your team and grow their capabilities? How do you manage the team? How do you keep the valuable members of your team? What are the right culture and incentives to drive retention?

6. What investments should you make in adjacent growth opportunities? What bandwidth do you have as a management team to take on more opportunities? Do you have the right talent within the firm to pursue those opportunities?

By working through these questions with your team, and having done your homework in advance, you can have a robust debate on your business model. You’ll learn from your team which parts of the business are humming along nicely and which need a tune up. This should also help you agreed on a path forward to address your tune-up challenges over the coming months so that you can really put the pedal to the metal. For your business, what are the answers to the above questions? What were your top issues? What were your biggest surprises?

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