Even if you think everything’s going fine with your business (and especially if you’re aware improvements need to be made), you need to give it regular checkups.
In the same way an annual well visit to the doctor can find minor health issues and treat them before they become major health issues, a weekly work checkup can keep your business on the right track.
A New Friday Ritual
Add your weekly business checkup to the list of good habits you should adopt. Near the end of the day every Friday, schedule 15 minutes to sit down and ask yourself the following questions.
Write your answers, don’t just think them. This will allow you to go back and see what progress you’ve made.
The Ten questions to ask yourself every week:
1. Was This Week Productive?
This doesn’t necessarily mean you were doing things.
Procrastination, long lunches, and spending the day texting with friends is unproductive, but so are things like spending a two hour meeting going over the same material for the third time or putting time into a new campaign that’s identical to an old campaign that failed.
2. Did I Enjoy My Work This Week?
Think about the most enjoyable parts of the week and identify them. What made them enjoyable for you?
Were your most enjoyable parts of the week things you do on a regular basis, or were they rare occurrences?
3. Was This Week Boring?
Many businesses fall into a routine that starts to feel the same day in and day out — but that doesn’t necessarily equal boring.
If you were bored this week, ask yourself why. Are you bored of certain tasks or routines? Were you bored because business was slow?
4. What Were Your Distractions This Week?
Without a doubt, distraction can be detrimental to your business. If you lacked focus this week, look at the reasons why.
Was it a rare occurrence, like an out-of-town guest, or did you spend two hours playing on Twitter when you planned to spend 10 minutes?
Was it something that’s easy to remedy, such as the phone ringing every five minutes while you tried to get work done?
5. What Were Your Frustrations This Week?
Did you have an issue with a vendor? Did a client ask for something you can’t deliver? Did you feel generally overwhelmed?
Identify your frustrations over the past week and think about ways you can avoid them or deal with them better in the future.
6. Did I Feel Challenged This Week?
Just because you’re great at what you do doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be challenged constantly. It’s the best way to keep getting better, and to grow your business into a success.
Identify the most challenging parts of the past week, and how you met (or are meeting) them.
7. Did I Make an Impact This Week?
This can range from seeing a good return on your marketing campaign to receiving a thank-you email from a customer to simply putting your best business forward and getting a response.
Focus on the positive impact you’ve made, but also consider any negative impact you’ve made and how you can avoid that in the future.
8. Did I Feel Confident This Week?
Your confidence level can rise and fall as you have good and bad days with your business.
If your confidence has been dipping, focus on the good and productive things you’ve done and know that you can get there again.
9. Was My General Outlook Generally Positive or Negative This Week?
Positivity is good for your business, but you can’t feel positive all the time. If you had a lot of negative feelings over the past week, try and figure out the root of it, and address it.
If your mood is affected by the attitude of an employee, consider having a sit-down with them. Keep in mind, you won’t always have an identifiable source for your negative feelings.
If there is no real reason for it, you might need to do more to maintain your mental health.
10. Do I Truly Believe That You Can Achieve Your Goals?
Think about your ultimate goals for your business. Do you really, truly, deep down believe that you can achieve them? Have you set your goals too high?
Are you relying on a path with a low likelihood of success? (For example, if you’re a videographer, are you hoping that one of your videos will go viral so you’ll make it big? Are you putting focus on celebrity interest in your product instead of targeting regular folks?)
Keep asking yourself this every week, and your goals and your belief in your ability to achieve them should align.
At the end of your 15-minute session, save your notes (we recommend an app such as Evernote or Pocket to archive them).
You might be surprised over time how much your answers may differ from week to week.
Unlike a yearly health checkup, a weekly business checkup is cumulative — the more you repeat it, the more valuable it can be.
You can make it a group exercise (even including employees), or a solitary ritual. The important thing is that you ask yourself these questions regularly.
What if the Answers Show That the Business is Unhealthy?
If issues come to light after answering the questions, that’s not a bad thing — it allows you to face them and address them.
When you make yourself answer these questions every week, it’s less likely that your issues, big or small, will be ignored.
The result? Positive impact with a minimal time commitment. Try it. After a few weeks, your weekly checkup should become a good habit.
Do you use any methods to maintain a healthy business? How frequently do you use them? Share what works for you and join the discussion in the comments!
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