By John MacInnes
Welcome back! If you are reading this then I didn’t bore you too much with my first blog entry introducing the Five Step Blueprint to Running a Great Business.
Knowing your company’s Strengths or Weaknesses can actually help you understand how to drive your success. Many companies attempt a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity and Threats (SWOT) analysis with little or no input. They want to build a strategic plan but struggle for days trying to figure out what’s important and what to do. In my opinion, this is ego driven drivel where company leaders think they know better than the people they are serving.
Who really Drives your Business and What do they Think?
This first step is key to building a great strategic plan and it gets other people to do the hard work for you. The other people are your team and your customers. This is the ultimate SWOT analysis. A pretty simple survey for your staff and customers to complete involves 3 easy questions.
1. What should <Company Name> Stop doing?
2. What should <Company Name> Start doing?
3. What should <Company Name> Continue doing?
The reason I do Stop, Start, Continue in that order is because people get the things bothering them off their minds first allowing them to be more creative with the ideas they believe you should Start doing.
Survey Best Practices?
There are plenty of ways to go about collecting responses for your Stop Start Continue survey. There are web tools like Survey Monkey or if you use Google Docs like we do then using Google forms is an awesome way to get the data into one place. As for getting responses, I like to send out the survey by email and LinkedIn to my targets. I do this 3 times. Next, I have a list of my top 20% of customers by revenue and if they have not already filled out the survey I call them directly. I ask for them to either complete the survey online or let me interview them. For the team I make the survey mandatory and for everybody I allow the survey to be anonymous but have a space for them to put their name if they want or need some sort of contact from us.
When to do Stop Start Continue?
I suggest that it be ready and sent out 6 weeks before your strategic planning session. Spend the next 2 weeks being obsessive about getting responses from your customers and team members.
How to use Stop Start Continue?
You will have to wait until my next post on the ‘Strategic Planning Session’ to find out how to turn the data into a great SWOT analysis.
Bonus question number 4!
Add one extra question to your survey and learn where you really stand. This question is used by companies all over the world to determine something called Net Promoter Score (NPS). On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest), how likely are you to recommend <Company Name> to someone else? Learn more about how Net Promoter can advance your business.
Bonus idea! Why did we not get your business?
Send your survey to people who did not become your customer that you really think should have. You might be surprised about what you learn from them.
John MacInnes runs several businesses, including Print Audit. The newest one is Payroll by Credit Card where they help business owners pay their payroll on their credit card and collect tons of loyalty reward points for themselves.