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Start where you are, with what you have, and do what you can


By Michelle Post

Is your business running you? Do you know what you have regarding your business? These are questions I often ask business owners when I begin working with them. We do not know when it happens, but there comes a time when our business is running us instead of us running our business.

However, it need not be that way. By using the six W’s (who, what, when, where, why and how) a business owner can easily take control.

What do you have in your business?
To answer this question, take out a blank sheet of paper and make six columns. You will answer the six whats.
Label the columns in this format: 1. Software and tools, 2. Physical and digital assets, 3. Digital presence, 4. Influencers, 5. Online marketing initiatives, and 6. Off-line marketing initiatives.
Fill in each column with WHAT the business has.
This exercise will help you realize you have more than you might have known, and I can almost guarantee you have everything you need to succeed.
It is too easy to add a new tool or software when we feel our business is stalling. When we need to do only an inventory of the six whats and brainstorm on how each can be used better.

Why are you in business?
This is the toughest question to ask and answer, but it becomes the foundation for running your business.
If you need help in identifying your WHY I recommend watching the following Ted Talk by Simon Sinek, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action. It is life and business changing!

Who are you serving?
A business cannot sell to everyone.
It is imperative that a business knows who the ONE is that it is selling to.
When a business can define its one customer, it can then align all things to ensure the one customer is begin served.
If you need help in identifying your ONE, I recommend using Hubspot’s, “Make My Persona,” https://www.hubspot.com/make-my-persona.

Where are you going?
If a business does not know where it is going, it becomes almost impossible to succeed.
A business needs to create a hard goal(s) to aim for. Whether that goal is a specific financial level, several products sold, or customers served – there must be a WHERE to aim for.
There are many ways to define your WHERE, but the best advice I can give is to search your heart and use your WHY to define where you want to go with your business.

When do you want to get to your here?
The WHEN and WHERE go together. To define my business’s WHERE I also need to define my WHEN.
A goal (WHERE) without a timeline is just dreaming, as the saying goes.
Be realistic when determining the WHEN to your WHERE.

How do you use your W’s to ensure customer and business success?
The HOW is where you put everything together to run your business and not vice versa.
This is the most time consuming step, but it is also the most empowering step for it helps the business owner take control.
This step can show the strengths of the business and areas of improvement needed.

Answering the six W’s of your business at least once a year is a sure-fire way of ensuring long-term success. Take the time and realize you have everything you need to succeed; both within you and your business.

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