Guest Post by Kathy Bentz
Great consultants ask good questions!
Which three measures give the best sense of a company’s health?
Whether they’re talking to the business owner of a multi-site, multinational organization, or the owner of a corner store,
There are three critical measurements that denote the overall health and well-being of any organization:
1. Employee Engagement
No company, small or large, can remain competitive in their chosen market without employees who believe in the mission and know what they need to do to achieve it. That’s why it is critical for all companies to measure the level of employee engagement at least once a year … anonymously. And they should be looking for more concrete information than finding out if they like the coffee in the employee lounge. In fact, that question shouldn’t be anywhere near an employee survey! Stack that question against the wealth of information available if they’re asked questions about:
- Their feelings for leadership of the organization
- The strategic objectives of the owner or executive team for the next five years
- How the company handles their human resources
- How they personally impact the company’s business results
- How comfortable they are with the way the company manages processes
- How the company measures and analyzes internal knowledge and data
- Company rules when it comes to managing customers
2. Customer Satisfaction
Customers are the next link in the “successful company” chain. How do you know if you’re on the right track and providing the products your customers need and are servicing them in the way they want? ASK, of course! And don’t just ask your good customers; ask the ones who haven’t ordered in awhile or the ones who don’t order in the volume they did previously. Asking them one simple question, “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?” will speak volumes and provide the company with the right business direction.
3. Cash Flow
Lastly, there’s cash flow. If you ask any business owner how they measure their cash flow, they’ll have an answer for you, for sure. But be sure they’re specific about the definition of cash flow. Most profit and loss numbers have been massaged through the accounting process. They need to be looking at true, raw cash flow and how it moves through the company.
So, how can all of that help you as a business consultant or coach?
Concentrate your questioning around those key issues. If you don’t have these three categories for questioning built into your repertoire, MEMORIZE THEM!
1. How do you measure employee engagement? How often do you do it, and what do you do with the results?
2. How do you measure customer loyalty? How often do you do it, and what do you do with the results?
3. Does your current cash flow situation allow you to return cash to shareholders, pay down debt, and/or borrow more to grow faster? If not, how much do you need to do so?
Asking these questions, employing proper assessments to ferret out more information, applying processes to affect a change, and measuring the results will help YOU!
Kathy Bentz is a Support Analyst at Resource Associates Corporation where she helps entrepreneurs build successful coaching and consulting practices. She also works with youth to help them build successful lives.” You can follow Resource Associates Corporation blog by clicking “Here!”