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Say "YES" If Your Business Is Positioned for Success

by Christine Correlli 1. August 2016 07:04

By Christine Corelli, IWF Atlanta Speaker

Forget tough. Today, competition is fierce. As never before, whether you are a woodworking machinery manufacturer, cabinetmaker, or company that offers wood products, your business faces sophisticated many new competitors. And these competitors are using some very aggressive marketing strategies to shake up the status quo. 

To survive in this environment, your company needs to have smarter strategies than the competition. Your management team (in fact, everyone who works for your company) must be aligned with those strategies and be committed to working hard to support your company's efforts. Here, market research, customer input, and employee involvement are key.

Take this simple "yes" or "no" test to help you determine whether your company is positioned for future success:

 

1. Have you conducted research to identify consumer or industry trends and do

    you have a formal program to obtain information from your customers regarding

    their needs? ___yes____no

 

2. Have you consulted with groups of end-users to help you reach decisions in

    your strategic initiatives? ___yes____no

 

3. Did you learn what direction your competitors are taking and analyze what you

    can do to differentiate your product or service? ___yes___no

 

4. Have you analyzed what new markets your company can tap into? ___yes___no

 

5. Are you doing business internationally, or preparing to do so? ___yes___no

 

6. Did you involve your customers and your sales force in creating your

   strategic plan? ___yes___no

 

7. Are your sales goals and incentives aligned with your company's marketing

    strategy? ___yes___no

 

8. Did your marketing team involve your entire sales team when creating your

    marketing plan? ___yes___no

 

9. Did your marketing team share the consumer or end user data they obtained to

   create the plan with your sales team? ___yes___no

 

10. Did your company meet with your sales team to discuss strategic areas they

     may disagree with and come to a mutual understanding? ___yes___no

 

11. Do your product manager, chief engineer, director of operations, warehouse

      manager, etc. add their input when your sales people discuss customer needs with

     upper level management? ___yes___no

 

12. Is your sales team committed to "agreeing to disagree," with your plans if

     necessary, and fully support the company effort? ___yes___no

 

13. Does your company, recognize that where there are conflicting opinions,

      creativity is stimulated, and positive results can occur? ___yes__no

 

14. Did management communicate the strategic plan, marketing plan, and sales

      strategy to the entire company and obtain staff input? ___yes___no

 

15. Does everyone in your company—from sales to customer service, from marketing

     to R&D and from the warehouse to the front desk—fully support those plans and

     recognize that everyone must be on the same page if you are to succeed?

                                                                                                            ___yes___no

 

16. Does your company have a diversified team, or several teams, working

      continuously to determine ways to make those plans work? ___yes___no

 

17. Does your company realize that such teams can take fragments of ideas and

     structure a wide variety of options and solutions to problems? ___yes___no

 

18. Does upper level management solicit, listen, and respond to all ideas,

     selecting the best ones to implement? ___yes___no

 

19. Do your sales people enlist the help and expertise of your techs, product

      manager, CSR's, etc. to help their customers and do they recognize that they,

      too, are "in sales?" ___yes___no

 

20. Do your sales people recognize that, regardless of their individual sales

      prowess, it requires a strong sales team for ultimate company success?

            __yes___no

 

21. Does your company strive to outdistance your current and future competitors

     with innovation? __yes___no

 

22. Is your company willing to take calculated risks to diversify what they

     offer and introduce new products to the market place that customers are

     demanding? __yes___no

 

 

23. Does your company strive to leverage vendor expertise and partner for

      success through strategic alliances? __yes___no

 

24. Does your company invest in training and learn faster than your competitors?

      __yes___no

 

25. Is there a sense of urgency to solve any service problems, quality problems,

      or problems with employee morale? __yes___no

 

There are many more questions we can add to this list. For now, your goal is to

answer "yes" TO AS MANY AS possible. If you can, your company is in a better

position to grow and prosper.

 

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