Business Fitness: Prerequisite to Growth

Everyone knows the value of physical fitness. It may be a struggle in the short term, but the medium and long term benefits are worth it. The same is true in business. If you want your business to grow make sure it is “fit” first. A fit business is sleek, strong, stable, flexible and attractive.

My thesis has always been that it’s important to reach a state of business fitness as the foundation for future growth. You want to be able to answer “yes” to the following questions. If you can, your business is in a state of fitness and you are ready for growth.

Sleek
• Are you concentrating on the critical elements that determine the condition of your business – such as Gross and Net Revenues, Accounts Receivable, Inventory, Fixed and Variable Expenses, Unexpected Expenses, Cost per Unit Sold, Cash Flow, Net Profit/Loss, Cash Reserve or Debt?
• Have you clearly defined your market and targeted your marketing efforts to the most likely groups?
• Have you identified and eliminated all unnecessary expense?
• Is your inventory and/or accounts receivable as tight as possible?

Strong
• Are you consistently able to pay off debt?
• Is your cash reserve growing?
• Are your revenues and earnings increasing?
• Do you cut your losses early because you are closely monitoring results of action taken?
• Have you identified your strengths and are concentrating resources on them? Are you well supported in your areas of weakness?

Stable
• Do you do a monthly review of your income and expense statement and make decisions for future action based on bottom line results?
• Does your monthly income always cover your expenses?
• Do you have a feeling you are in control of your business?
• Do you have the documentation necessary to show the strength of your business should you want to borrow capital or attract investors for expansion?

Flexible
• Have you diversified your core business enough so you are not totally dependent on one product or service?
• Are you aware of what’s happening in your industry and its position within the global economy?
• Do you pursue joint ventures, partnerships and other alliances that will forward your business goals?
• Are you open to new ideas and suggestions?
• Are you in a financial position to take advantage of new opportunities?

Attractive
• Does your product or service provide a real and clearly understood benefit?
• Does your marketing and public relations activities make you look attractive to do business with?
• Does your customer service reinforce your attractiveness?
• Are your communications clear and on target toward your vision?
• Can others see that your business is doing well?

The timing is perfect for you to do an assessment of your own business to make sure you know what you need to bring your business into fitness. We want for you to not only survive, but to grow and thrive in an ever-changing economy.