“IF I ONLY KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW, I’D BE SO MUCH MORE SUCCESSFUL.”
How often have you had this thought? It’s easy to get caught up thinking about how successful your 20 year-old self would have been with your 40 year-old knowledge. Things would be clearer – different possibly. Regardless, you’d have a much better direction with what you wanted to accomplish because of your business experience.
Enter Stage Left: the Business Consultant. Consider him youth’s redemption. He is the bridge to your future – a combatant against the regret of costly mistakes. He is your mentor. Your confidant. He is like the sherpa to the mountain climbers of the Himalayas. Well, maybe not to THAT extreme, but you get the point.
For the future of your business, though, it is worth considering a trained professional’s objective point-of-view. Business Consultants can save you long-term headaches and wasted money. And the worst case scenario? You have a consultation with an outside source who is willing to objectively examine where your business may be lacking in efficiency.
To get started, it’s important for Business Owners to ask these FIVE essential questions when considering or (re)evaluating their business :
- WHAT IS MY IDENTITY? – Who are you? Having a business identity is one of the most important aspects of any successfully operated business. By having an identity, it provides your customers with outlined expectations, and boosts your reliability. Businesses without a defined identity struggle to retain customers because they are often viewed as disorganized and unreliable. Even more, they lack marketing credibility. Without an identity, it would be difficult for any business to succeed.
- WHAT IS MY BUSINESS MODEL? – Have you considered the 9 Key Pillars of a Business Model? The 9 Key Pillars of a Business Model are considered the foundation of any business. Without having a well-defined business model, the business owner risks having to learn every aspect of their business “on the fly,” which can ultimately lead to very costly lessons. If these aren’t outlined, you should seriously consider addressing this as a top priority. If they are outlined, it’s a good idea to revisit them once again to ensure maximum efficiency.
- WHO IS MY TARGET AUDIENCE? – Most new business owners aren’t exactly positive to whom they are trying to sell products or services. They have a target audience in mind, but they often struggle to REALLY identify their target audience. Questions the business owner should ask: Have I considered gender and age? How about potential income of the customer? What about their lifestyle preferences or purchasing cycles? It is imperative for the Business Owner to know exactly who their target audience will be prior to embarking on a new endeavor. If you consider brands like Apple, Victoria’s Secret, or any other hugely successful brand, they all have one thing in common: THEY KNOW THEIR TARGET AUDIENCE! It doesn’t mean they don’t appeal to other audiences, but they are at their best when engaging their targeted audience.
- WHO IS MY COMPETITION? – In every business field, there will be competition. Competition is a good thing. It not only motivates the customer, it motivates the business owner as well. The question, though, is how much is too much competition? If you are considering entering a flooded field, it will make it difficult to compete against the more well-established companies in the industry. It doesn’t mean you don’t stand a chance to be successful, it just means it will be much more difficult. Think of it as a step above entering into a well established Multi-Level Marketing company such as Amway, Lularoe, or Avon. There is room to be successful, but it becomes exceedingly difficult to do so. Be sure to research the market before committing to opening or expanding your business.
- WHAT ARE MY VALUE PROPOSITIONS? – You have to objectively consider what your value is to the customer and why they should choose you over any competitor. Why, for example, would a customer choose to shop in your store for a product which could be purchased on Amazon for sometimes much less? While considering the Value Proposition for Stony Point Pharmacy, I had to consider the competition. In terms of filling prescriptions, Stony Point Pharmacy has to compete with NINE other pharmacies within a 2-mile radius (4 Independent Pharmacies, 2 CVS Pharmacies, a Walgreens Pharmacy, Rite Aid Pharmacy, and Stop & Shop Pharmacy). This is significant when you consider the population of the Northern Rockland County area is only approximately 65,000. This does not include any competition from the Insurance Companies Mail Away Pharmacies. So why do customers choose Stony Point Pharmacy over the others to have their prescriptions filled? The answer is because their value rests in knowledgeable and accessible pharmacists, as well as exceptional customer service. This is what has (and continues to) distinguish Stony Point Pharmacy from local competition.
These are not easy questions for any Business Owner to answer, and some may need further consideration. But if you are struggling to definitively answer any one of these, then it’s time to consider an outside consultation. Without one, you may be permitting money to trickle out of your pockets without even realizing it. In the long run, this can add up to substantial losses.
If you feel it’s time, then contact someone you know or someone with whom you are comfortable sharing your business information. If you are not sure who to contact, then contact us here, at K-CORE BUSINESS CONSULTING!
We offer a FREE, NO HASSLE – NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION to any Business Owner seeking guidance. Whether you are just starting out, or you’ve been in business for 30 years, it never hurts to be sure you are getting the most out of your business.
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*K-CORE BUSINESS CONSULTING is a division of K-CORE ENTERPRISES, LLC.