It’s never too early (or too late) to perform a SWOT analysis on your business. Being proactive in learning your business’ strengths and weaknesses does a lot to promote its sustainability. Many businesses don’t last a year, let alone a decade, when they’re unsure of where they stand in their target industry.
Analyzing the viability of your business can seem like a daunting task when you aren’t sure which questions to ask. To accurately predict whether your business has any staying power, you need to analyze it according to the most relevant factors for future success.
With that in mind, here are five key questions that will help you determine if you’ll still be in business 10 years from now.
1. Are You Adapting to the New Way Customers Buy?
This first question is critical because it’s about how well your business fulfills your customers’ expectations. These days, customers like to do a fair amount of research online before they purchase. According to one recent study, as much as 80 percent of customers are influenced by a business’ online brand.
If your business doesn’t have a solid inbound marketing strategy, which includes at least a website, blog, lead nurturing campaign, and social media accounts, you can’t expect a whole lot of growth over the next 10 years. Not only will your competitors be able to deliver on your prospective customers’ ideal shopping experience, but customers simply won’t be as aware of your brand’s presence.
2. Are You Customer-Centric?
You’ve probably heard a lot by now about how important it is to have a specific niche for your business. Choosing a target audience isn’t just about what’s trendy in marketing, it’s about being able to expertly personalize your customers’ shopping experience.
Your marketing and sales messages must speak to your target audience on a personal level. Whether they first stumble across your brand via a blog, your website, or a tweet, your messaging should resonate with your customers. After all, your business isn’t about you. It isn’t about your product or services. It isn’t about profits. It’s about your customers first and foremost. You need to expertly anticipate and meet their needs if you’re going to stay in business.
There’s a reason Blockbuster failed and Netflix flourished. Netflix anticipated its customers’ wants and adapted its business model to meet their needs while Blockbuster stayed the same, even as its customers evolved.
3. Does Your Sales Team and Marketing Team Co-Operate?
Inbound marketing strategies require your salespeople and your marketers to be on the same page regarding the customer experience. When both your sales team and marketing team harmonize their efforts, they can better speak to leads, prospects, and customers.
Marketing and sales alignment also reduces costs and improves ROI, which will also help your future endeavours.
4. Have You Invested in Automation?
It’s the twenty-first century. You don’t need to be wasting time, resources, and money on administrative tasks anymore. In fact, your competitors certainly aren’t. Your business needs access to state-of-the-art technology to stay ahead of the curve. Automation can make or break your business, so it’s best to get on board now.
The future favours businesses that automate their operations. These companies will effectively reduce costs, stay lean and flexible, and operate more strategically than the ones that are bogged down in costly administrative tasks.
5. Do Your Salespeople Know How to Sell to the Modern Buyer?
To ensure your business’ success in the future and beyond, your salespeople need to learn to evolve their skills to meet the demands of a digitally driven market. Are you still cold calling and emailing prospects? If so, you’re doing it wrong. These types of outdated sales tactics will ensure you’re left behind by your competitors. The world is now digital, and so your salespeople need digital selling skills.
Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist
Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.