33 questions to ask yourself in 2011

Nov. 1, 2011
Would you call yourself a creative person? Creativity plays a big part in developing a successful business.

By Jim Connolly

Would you call yourself a creative person? Creativity plays a big part in developing a successful business. Your ability to creatively solve problems and spot opportunities will, to a large extent, determine just how far you and your business will go.

In my experience, one of the best ways to kick-start your creativity is to ask yourself questions that lead you to creatively search for answers and new ideas. So, here are 33 questions designed to help you think creatively about the development of your business. Remember to share them with people in your network who might find them useful, using the links below.

  • What additional, valuable products or services can I offer to my existing customers (herein called clients)? This is the fastest way to generate a massively profitable boost to your revenue and profits.
  • Am I fully using technology in my business? Are there processes that I could streamline that would give me more time to deal personally with my clients and prospective clients?
  • How can I improve the way I deliver my services?
  • Do I take time to thank people as often as I should?
  • What new markets could use my products or services?
  • How can I improve the quality of my products or services so that they are even more valuable to existing and prospective clients?
  • Am I associating with the right kind of people for what I want to achieve?
  • What three things could I do that would improve the visibility of my business?
  • How can I reach 500% more prospective clients with my marketing message?
  • How can I make my day-to-day work more fun? (This is really important!)
  • What's the best way for me to encourage more people to recommend me to their contacts?
  • Is my marketing focused enough?
  • How can I improve my time management?
  • Do I take action on the ideas I generate so they can make a real difference?
  • Should I be thinking about doing some kind of joint venture with another, high quality company?
  • Am I limiting the development of my business by not investing in professional help for my weak areas? If so, which area should I invest in first?
  • How often do I ask my clients for their feedback regarding the service they receive from me, and what additional services would they like me to offer?
  • When was the last time I sat down and studied my marketing goals? (If you do not have any written, measurable, specific marketing goals, stop reading this and write some down now!)
  • Is it possible that my services look too similar to my competitors? Most service providers look a lot alike, so the marketplace uses their fees as a way to judge their value.
  • If my services do look too similar to my competitors, how can I differentiate myself so that I have something uniquely valuable to bring to the marketplace?
  • Do I get enough leads and inquiries via my Web site or blog? If not, how can I increase this so my site becomes a lead generating machine for my business?
  • When was the last time a client sent me a thank you note? If this has not happened for a while, it might suggest that I have not exceeded their expectations lately!
  • Who would make a good endorsed relationship partner for me?
  • Do I attract enough word of mouth referrals? If not, what is this telling me?
  • How aware am I of my client's problems and challenges? I need to know what's happening in my clients' worlds if I want to be able to really help them.
  • Do I have a shallow network spread over a wide area, or do I have a deeper, more meaningful one?
  • How many other Web sites or blogs link to my Web site or blog? This is important, as inlinks account for the massive majority of search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Am I working on a marketing strategy or am I simply doing tactical marketing?
  • Just how good is my customer service? Remember, I should not compare myself to what my competitors offer, but to the finest level of service I can possibly offer.
  • Do I have the same passion for my business that I used to have? If the answer is no, it's time to get passionate again!
  • How many of the people I network with on Twitter and Facebook have I actually spoken to or met?
  • Are my online marketing activities producing bankable results, or just a ton of meaningless social media numbers? If I have the friends, followers, and fans but not the bankable results, I need to review my strategy.
  • Do I exceed people's expectations?

Jim Connolly has worked in marketing for 25 years, with his own successful marketing business since 1995. He can be reached through his marketing blog at http://jimsmarketingblog.com or by e-mail at [email protected].