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Successful and profitable small businesses leave clues. If you’re a small business owner, high-end sales professional, consultant, coach, or professional service provider then the following checklist can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and can put you on the fast track for a rewarding, successful and profitable business.
Feel free to use this list with your team to get a sense of where you are and to inspire a high standard of professional excellence.
HOW IT WORKS
If the statement is true, check. If not, leave it blank until you’ve done what it takes for it to be a full YES. Be rigorous; be a hard grader. If the statement does not apply or will never be true for you, check it and give yourself credit.
_I know what clients and project bring out my best work.
_I know who my target market is for client acquisition.
_I know who my qualified referral partners are.
_I am 2 or 3 steps ahead of my clients and inform them what the next step is.
_I manage my clients expectations up front.
_I have high personal and professional standards.
_I consistently look for ways to add value to my clients.
_I have zero headache clients.
_I only work with clients who are right for me and my practice.
_I work with my clients not for them.
_I powerfully serve my clients vs trying to please them.
_I regularly survey my clients for feedback in order to make improvements.
_I meet with key clients quarterly to see how to better serve them.
_I make the necessary changes every time I lose a client, lose a proposal or make a mistake.
_High service standard are written and everyone on team honors them.
_I have a clear set of guiding principles or mission statement to work from.
_All proposals, services and clients requests are fulfilled in record time.
_Deals, projects and proposals are completed on time or early.
_I have a strong brand in my industry with 5 star reviews.
_I have clearly spelled out rules of engagement so that my client honor my personal and professional boundaries.
_I don’t gossip or bad talk clients, employees, vendors.
_My clients almost always do what they promise.
_I don’t manage clients or people, I only manage agreements.
_I ask for what I want and need.
_I don’t play the expectation game.
_I know what a request is, and I make them consistently.
_I know how to help my clients articulate the value of our work together.
_My clients consistently keep their appointments and are on time.
_I know when and where I produce my best work.
_My clients do not complain or blame; rather, they either create, request or solve problems and _use me as a resource to accomplish this.
_I do not count on willpower to do the things.
_I have a supportive mentor, coach or partner who gives me honest feedback.
_I have not over promised results or hinted that I could accomplish more than I absolutely know I really can.
_My clients know that I want more business and are clear about the type of business I want.
_I have strong relationships with right number of qualified referral partners for my industry.
_All of my clients know all of what I offer.
_I call, thank and keep informed the source of every single referral.
_I have some way for prospective clients to get to know me, try out my services or get started on a smaller scale.
_I have created a lead magnet (white-paper, webinar, video, give away, tip’s) to build my sales funnel.
_ I have a strong online presence that is optimize to generate leads.
_I send out a monthly or quarterly newsletter, brochure or announcement about my services.
_I make it a practice of connecting with leads, prospects, clients, referral partners on the appropriate social media platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc…)
_My clients know what happens when someone they refer calls or comes in so they feel
more confident about sending referrals.
_My clients have a recurring need for my services.
_My clients always pay their bill on time. Money is rarely an issue between us.
_Every client respects my advice, expertise and gives me the room I need to do an extraordinary job.
_My clients look for ways to help me because they care.
_I have and use a CRM
_I use a calendar that is synced with all my devices
_I use a task management application that is synced with all my devices so nothing falls through the cracks. (Trello or Wunderlist).
_My business is paperless or close to it.
_I have invested in the appropriate hardware and softwares for my business.
_A single individual has responsibility for the day-to-day operating decisions.
_My staff and I do very accurate work; nothing is thrown together or substandard.
_There is no part of my client procedures or process that I am doing that I shouldn’t be doing for my physical or emotional wellness. I have found some way to effectively delegate.
_I am clear what my top 3 money making activities are and focus on those.
_I stay clear of unbillable work and delegate it to other right person.
_I am fully prepared for all meeting and every meeting accomplishes something specific.
_Staff communicates everything that is getting in the way of their being productive and knows how to make request vs. complain or blame.
_Staff has the equipment and the training to be extremely productive.
_Staff accountabilities are written and clear.
_I conduct quarterly employee reviews.
_Staff lives to support me and they go out of their way to make my job easier – even effortless.
_I have the right accountant, banker, attorney, coach and other advisers who add to my profitability.
_Each employee is in the right position, which uses his/her strengths.
_Consequences are imposed for non-performance.
_Every employee is fully competent and skilled and is qualified by experience, education, loyalty, motivation and competence. No weak links or drag-me downs.
_I have a strategic business plan, which I refer to monthly.
_Everything has a deadline or promised completion date and the employee and manager manage this.
_My staff and I want to come to work each day and enjoy being there.
_I have more time than I need because everything is so well done or delegated.
_I have a right-hand person/executive assistant who handles every detail so I have space.
_I have a strong, happy and healthy personal life with lots of physical activity and pleasure
so work is work and not my life.
_I am adrenaline-free and stress-free.
_I put aside plenty of funds with which to become financially independent early.
_The practice is in good enough shape to sell.
_I have a very strong Personal Foundation.
_I enjoy creating breakthrough results for clients.
_I consistently do my 10 daily personal habits.
_I am proud of myself as a human and as a Professional.
_Bank reconciliation’s are complete and up-to-date.
_All income, sales and property taxes are filed, paid and current.
_All bills are routinely paid on time.
_Accounts payable ledger is current and includes all bills and purchase orders.
_Accounting department is well run and/or I use a superb bookkeeping service and CPA.
_I have a budget that I compare with my monthly financial statements, which are done by 5th to the 15th of the month.
_All accounts receivable are being collected per standards (average collection period is less than 150% of customer payment policy).
_The firm’s profits are very, very high at a very conservative level of revenue.
_No single customer accounts for more than 25% of total sales or receivables.
_Services/products are packaged so that they produce a stream of income, not just a one-time sale.
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