Running any kind of business requires a lot of self-awareness and self-reflection.  Self-awareness helps us use our strengths to their fullest potential and minimize our weaknesses, while self-reflection allows us to improve upon past mistakes.  In order to tap into these two qualities and improve your business, ask yourself the following questions to focus your energy in all the right places.

  • What do I do best?  Perhaps you have a unique way of making people feel comfortable, getting them to talk about themselves, and leaving a positive memorable impression on them.  Harness your strengths into selling power for your business.  Make it a point to chat up as many guests at a home party as possible, and conduct your networking opportunities face-to-face when you can.  Whatever you happen to be good at, find a way of incorporating it into your business because you’re not just selling a product; you’re selling yourself.
  • What is my product’s best solution?  The product or service you sell must be the solution to a customer’s problem.  Most likely, it has several uses.  Decide which is most valuable and desirable for consumers and emphasize it in your demonstration and marketing efforts.  For example, your company’s line of educational books for children comes with a trade-in program for customers who make at least one purchase every six months.  This solves the all too common problem of children’s rooms being overfilled with books they’ve outgrown.  Such a unique and valuable solution to a problem plaguing most parents should definitely be one of the first things a customer learns about your product, as it sets it apart from competitors.
  • Where are most of my sales coming from?  This applies to both your demographic and your method of sale.  What is the profile of the customer who is buying the most?  (Businesswomen between 25-45 years old, mothers of young children) How are those sales being made? (online, at a home show, through referrals)  Analyzing your sales will help you maximize your marketing efforts so you get the greatest return on your investment.  It will also reveal any dead-ends you may have been unknowingly pursuing.

You’ve asked the questions; now what do you do with the answers?

Make the best use of this information by creating an action plan.  Set a goal (be specific with numbers and deadlines), create benchmarks, plan rewards for yourself, and map out your path to completing the goal.  If your goal is to implement a target marketing campaign, use the information you have about your strengths to come up with a way to execute the plan. Identify the solutions your product provides in order to hook your target market, and plan sales methods that will reach them.  Now your business approach is based on proven information about just a few elements which are essential to improving your business.

Being aware of yourself and being willing to reflect on past actions are two qualities that can make you a strong business owner.  Remember to always be honest with yourself about the answers to these questions, and commit yourself to putting your action plan into effect.  What questions do you think should be added to the list?  Please share your ideas below!

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