Tough Questions for Management

Running a private business is more like driving through the bush than cruising down the highway. If you want to find out what’s really going on in your business, and where you’re headed, you’ve got to ask some tough questions.

Put on your helmet, we’re going off-roading.

Kevin Pare, owner of KSP Technology (
Kevin Pare, owner of KSP Technology (

Here are critical questions to help you understand where you are and where you can go.

  1. Why do your customers buy from you: emotion, save time, save money, make more money, improve repute, ego?
  2. What products and services generate most of your a) revenue and b) margin?
  3. Which customers are your most profitable and have the best potential?
  4. Where did your ten best customers come from, and how are you leveraging these streams?
  5. How much of your business is repeat business and what are you doing to accelerate that?
  6. Which competitors are making inroads and why – is it price, relationship or value?
  7. What is your cost of production – per unit, per hour, per employee, per dollar of revenue?
  8. What are the daily metrics in your business and how fast can you get them?
  9. What do customers want that you could deliver but currently aren’t delivering?
  10. What can you do better than your competitors, in your customers eyes?
  11. If you started your same business over again, what would you do differently, and how can you implement those changes into your current business?
  12. Whatever you are good at, how can you do it better, faster, cheaper, bigger, broader, deeper and with more value?

The most successful businesses aren’t satisfied with the status quo, and know that if they don’t reinvent themselves, their competitors will do it for them.

Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved. Phil Symchych

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