A hard fact about being a business founder is that you don’t know what you don’t know. You’re an expert in building your business, but that doesn’t mean you have all the insights and all the answers – no one does. What you can do is keep asking questions and keep learning if you want to be successful. Through 20 plus years experience setting up, scaling and successfully exiting multiple 7 figure businesses, I’ve collected 5 important business questions you must ask if you want to grow. 🚀
You already have a fairly extensive list of things that you know you don’t know. Things you need to research. Things you need to learn. Things you’ll need to hire outside expertise to help with. And you’ve read about the biggest challenges faced by startups. But there is still an entire undiscovered void of not-knowingness.
As a result, I created a free business growth quiz. It’s called the Ultimate Growth Audit, it’s free and takes no more than 5 minutes to complete. You’ll get a personalised report that shows you the areas of your business and marketing that you need to focus on for growth.
As well as auditing your business, ask yourself these 5 questions to grow your company successfully.
1. Are you always curious?
Curiosity is the key to success as an entrepreneur. Founders are already naturally inquisitive, and unaccepting of the way things have always been done. I’ve read several stories like this one about how startup founders attribute much of their business success to staying curious. It keeps them nimble, agile and open to new ideas.
You know about IQ and EQ, but have you heard of CQ? Curiosity quotient measures ‘tolerance for ambiguity’ and ‘knowledge and expertise acquisition which leads to a nuanced, sophisticated way of thinking over time’. Having a high CQ will help you solve problems, drive innovation, fuel passion, and ultimately lead to business growth.
So stay curious and keep asking plenty of good questions.
2. Do you speak to other founders?
One of the most important business questions to ask yourself. I read recently that ‘if you want to get somewhere fast, find someone who has already done it, been successful, and learn from them’. I love that! Speak to other founders who are further on in their journey and find out:
🤔 What they know now that they wish someone had told them at the start
🤔 What tripped them up or took them by surprise
🤔 What their tips are for hiring a great team
🤔 What keeps them passionate about their business
🤔 What has been key to their growth
Many founders will be happy to share their experience because they remember how much help they needed and received when they were starting out. And who better to learn from than someone who truly understands what it’s like to successfully grow a business. After all, it takes courage to be a founder and talking openly about navigating the tough moments are just as important and valuable as the successes. Hear me talk about my own experience of finding courage and being a founder here.
3. What experts are in your network?
There are so many benefits to utilising your business network, not least to find trusted experts. If there is something you don’t understand, hire an expert who does.
This could be someone technical who is able to streamline your tech stack and automate aspects of your business. A consultant that supports start-up growth. Or an advisor who can look at the overall picture of where your business is right now, where you want it to go, and help you figure out how to get there.
Yes, hiring an expert is an investment. But one that should save you time, money, and pave a clearer path for success and growth. Probably the most striking benefit I see among my clients who hire experts, is the regained focus they get back. Once you relinquish some control over an aspect of your business to someone with the right knowledge and skills, you can spend time driving your mission forward. You’ll also be less bogged down with tasks that don’t fit your skill set.
There is help out there and if you aren’t sure how to outsource to the right experts I’m here to support.
4. Do you have your target market on speed dial?
Talk to your customers. Even if, especially if, you think you are part of your target market. It’s important that you don’t just create something that appeals to you. The research before you launch a new service really pays for itself. Then you actually know that what you’re creating is wanted and needed – 42% of startup businesses fail because there’s no market need for their services or products.
If you are in the start-up phase, conducting market research will help you get your service launched. When you know people want what you are offering, it fuels your passion for your business and helps you make more sales.
The purpose of any business is to solve a problem. As time goes on, problems change and evolve and so the most important business questions are the ones you ask your customers. Is your service still providing them with a solution? If the answer is always yes, you will always make sales.
5. Do you practice progress over perfection?
I’d argue that launching is more important than having a perfect business or service. Don’t make prospects wait forever while you find the exact shade of blue for your branding or devise a fool-proof offering.
If ‘good enough’ moves the needle forward in your business, go for that. Striving for perfection is one of the biggest killers of success I see with entrepreneurs. That’s because perfection is subjective. Some of the failings in my business led to my greatest growth. And other elements of my business that I spent a huge amount of time perfecting, amounted to nothing.
After you’ve launched your less-than-perfect service, go back to question number 4. Keep asking your customers what they love about your service, and what they’d like to change. They have all the answers you need to make your business a success. It’s about taking the time to ask the right questions.
To sum up
My biggest takeaway? Keep learning and be curious – it’s what most successful founders do all the time. Be open to learning from others, no matter who they are. You never know where your next inspiration will come from. Whether it’s from a founder you’ve spoken to, an expert you’ve hired, your customers, or simply by getting your service out there. Keep learning, keep having fun and keep asking questions to grow your business.
Need more support?
Make sure you do the FREE Ultimate Growth Audit to receive valuable insights on scaling your business.
I work with service-based businesses looking to scale through one-to-one consultancy and a strategic growth plan that allows you to build a profitable business with result-driven marketing.