Small Business: How to Ask the Right Questions
Every entrepreneur or small business owner has questions about how to take their business to greater heights, or how to run a more successful company. Here are some tips on how to ask the right kinds of questions to get you the right kind of answers.
As an entrepreneur, start-up or small business owner, do you have questions that constantly keep you up at night? You know what I mean – issues, stressors, reoccurring business questions you just can’t shake! They sit in the back of your head all day, and then keep you up at night.
The problem is not having a long list of questions about how to run your business, or how to grow – everyone who has ever started a venture has had the same list. The problem is leaving the questions unanswered and allowing them to paralyze your company’s ability to succeed.
There’s a good and a bad way to have questions. If you ask the right questions, you will find the right kind of answers.
Start by asking yourself: What are my biggest expenses?
Chances are, your biggest business expenses are also your biggest stressors 99% of the time. So are you spending the most money on overhead costs? How about IT development/maintenance? Is it perhaps Marketing/SEO?
Once you’ve identified your largest financial costs, ask yourself this: What would happen if I eliminated this cost my business?
Sounds crazy at first, but really think about it. Imagine a scenario in your head that would completely (or in great part) get rid of your largest costs. Perhaps you could/should relocate (is it necessary to be in the most expensive downtown location?), or shed the majority of your overhead by letting employees/contractors work virtually.
What if you eliminated astronomical IT costs by hosting your infrastructure virtually? The ever-evolving world of The Cloud makes that a simple migration and savings.
Is SEO costing an arm and a leg? What would happen if you reinvested in other online advertising ventures instead?
At least consider the scenario without your biggest expense…what does it look like? Is there any way to eliminate or redistribute those costs for a greater return? Don’t let it scare you…
If you ask the question that way, you will be forced to find the right answer. Can you get rid of costs? Absolutely. No question.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christine Sheppard is the marketing and communications voice at Atum Corporation – a VPS hosting and IT Solutions Company. Atum is a Canadian leader in VPS solutions and virtualization and Christine draws upon her inherent interest in the advance of new computer technology to discuss topics in Cloud Computing, Virtualization and emerging business trends. www.twitter.com/AtumIT