Questions that will prepare your Business for the Future

I recently wrote a piece that encouraged the reader to “never stop thinking about tomorrow.” Unless you, your company, and your employees are fully prepared for the future, everything you have worked so hard to develop could all be lost. Believe me, tomorrow will be different and the challenges will be great.


One of the best ways to prepare for the future is to begin by assessing where you are today. One way to do this is called an internal organizational audit and it is different from the traditional SWOT Analysis.


But before you start an internal organizational audit, several points must be emphasized. First, all involved must be totally honest in their evaluations and answers, if not you are just blowing smoke up your own shorts and wasting time and resources. And second, use all available people in your group or organization, not just management, to get the best and most complete picture of your company’s status.


Below are 25 questions that everyone in your company must ask and answer in order to help you better move into the future with success.


Thinking about your company’s Vision and MissionIs the Corporate vision and mission shared and understood by all? How is this done? How often?


About your company’s Customer Base – What is your customer base? Do you like what you see? Are your customers loyal? Will your customers allow you to make a profit?


About your company’s Skills – Do all current members of the team have the necessary skills to function in the future? What areas of training do you believe are necessary?


About your company’s Supply Chain Partnerships – Are your suppliers competitive? How do you know? Are your inventory turns competitive? Can they be better? What links in the chain can be removed to make your organization more competitive?


About your company’s Products or Services – Do your products or services meet the needs of the changing world? How do your products/services compare to the competition in terms of quality, price, and delivery? How are your products/services really viewed in the marketplace? What new product/service initiatives are critical?


About your company’s Internal Communications – What is the state of internal communications? Does the company have monthly or quarterly meetings with employees? Is there an emergency communication plan for accidents, weather emergencies, and disasters? If there is a plan, who is the spokesperson and are they prepared?


And about your company’s Cooperation – What is the level of cooperation within your business unit? Does your unit experience what you would describe as “turf battles” or “power struggles”? How are differences resolved internally?


Come back next week as we’ll finish up with the questions you need to ask yourself for an internal audit, and what steps you can take to utilize the audit’s results.

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