Time for a Business Physical

By Bill Taylor, President, Corporate Ladders

As the summer winds down its back-to-school time and many students are headed to their doctor for a physical and checkup. Making sure they start the new year with a clean bill of health is very important. With that in mind, before you resume business as usual after Labor Day, it might be a good time for an end-of-summer business checkup too. So what should you check?

The Heart: What is your cash position?

  • What is your cash balance in the bank? Do you have enough cash on hand for current expenses?
  • Have you been collecting those receivables or listening to voice mails from vacationing A/P people?
  • Are all of your invoices current and mailed or e-mailed to clients? Or have vacationing staff delayed your process? Most clients cannot pay without an invoice and many pay 30 days from receipt. Get those bills out!

The Lungs: How’s your sales pipeline?

  • When was the last time it was truly scrubbed and all the dead wood removed? If any prospect has been on your pipeline longer than 90 days, we say it is time to purge it.
  • What about quantity? Looking at your historical close ratio, do you have enough prospects in your pipeline?

Finally, The Body: Customer service

  • What is the satisfaction level of your customer base? Have your trouble tickets increased over the summer? If so, maybe a few calls to clients to “take their temperature” would be a good idea.
  • Are there any problems that occurred that took longer to fix than usual or are maybe still unresolved? Make sure the body is healthy and can support the rest of your business.

Taking the time now for this brief checkup will go a long way toward getting you positioned for the cold winter months that lie ahead.

Bill Taylor is president of Corporate Ladders, a management, sales and business development consulting and coaching firm specializing in technology, telecom, Internet, health care and financial services companies. He is the PHONE+ Channel Coach and a member of the 2008-09 PHONE+ Channel Partners Advisory Board.

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