1. What is your "Why"
When I speak with prospects, I may sound like a child with all my "why" questions. Most of them are geared to digging in and getting the root of things. As part of the barrage of questions I often ask, I will also ask the most important question, which is, "Why do you do you do what you do," or "why do you want to do this venture or idea." Their answer will determine if I want to even work with them. While there isn't a magical answer or a right or wrong answer, I really want to know that they have a passion for what they do. If they don't have a passion for what they do, then what I do won't matter.
2. Do you have a business plan?
While you wouldn't build a house without some sort of plan, you shouldn't run your business without one either. At best, you are just wing' in it, which, let's be honest, isn't the greatest idea. Of all the small businesses I have worked over the years, those who have succeeded and grown have had a plan or a vision. Now, your business plan doesn't need to be complicated. It should include both short and long-range goals. If you can include specific goals such as growth, profit, and market-share targets, then that's all the better. Also, you should have a plan in place for the transition. Being a family-owned business, there is bound to be conflict. I have experienced it first hand both with my own family's business, and I have seen it with clients, its best to have a plan for those.
3. Who's managing the day today?
Who is helping to manage the day to to day operations? Do you have a family member or a key employee, or a fresh hire with experience? As the old saying goes, when you have too many cooks in the kitchen, it ruins the soup. The same could be said for family businesses. When several family members all work within the company, you need to have roles clearly defined. This will help both you and your staff and should help to alleviate family conflicts.
4. What business entity should my business fall under?
Whether you're a first-time entrepreneur wanting to build something for your family and the generations to come, or if you are taking over the multi-generational business, there are many options before you. Speaking with a good lawyer should be able to help advise and guide you on the correct path.
5. What does my future hold?
While many family-owned business owners never seem to retire, there may be a point that you either want to retire, have to step away, hand the business off, or sell out. Statistics show that only 30 percent will survive the second generation and only 13 percent to the third. Ensuring you have a plan for your future and benefits for yourself and everyone else involved is critical. While there are many plans available depending on your business, having and speaking with a qualified accountant, financial advisor, and a lawyer will help.
At Cube Creative, we don't have a crystal ball or a DeLorean to see the future. We know that to be successful, you need to look at where you have been, where you are, and where you want to be. Having strategic partners along the way will help you in growing your business. If you are looking for a partner to help you manage your online presence, we at Cube Creative can help you. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation on how we can help your business grow!