CEO Growth Check List

 CEO Growth Check List
By Diane Warren

Growth In Leading

* Do a SWOT with your team (determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to kick off the new year
* Identify the SWOT elements you can change, improve or control
* Include the SWOT elements in your plan for the new year
* Review the focus on culture – taking into consideration the current focus for a safe and fair work environment, diversity and identifying key issues at all levels of staffing and executive interaction
* Secure help and commitment to focus on leadership’s goals – avoiding silos and an undercurrent of conflicting objectives

Growth In Revenue

* Clarify your key, most important customers – generally 80% of revenue comes from 20% of your customers
* Wrap up your top 20% clients (service, appreciation, engagement, communication, etc.)
* Use the same “wrap up strategy” and duplicate for remaining clients and prospects
* Determine if you can grow your top 20% of clients (and invite them to refer your company to others)

Growth In Efficiency

* Review all job descriptions making sure managers and staffers add any detail missing
* Eliminate any unnecessary tasks (technology changes, time wasters, focus everyone on core priorities)
* Ask your staff for “time and money saving” suggestions, implement the best
* Review technology use making sure business is maximizing new available software, devices, etc.
* Review the use of mobile devices for leadership and staff, maximize where possible – our reliance on these devices will grow and the smart businesses will maximize commercial opportunities
* Review your data and security issues – even small companies need to work with their IT team to secure their internal and customer data and build an emergency plan to be prepared for a breach

Growth In Your Human Capital

* Identify everyone’s strengths
* Build a company-wide language around maximizing strengths
* Provide leadership with tools to maximize their strengths and to use the information with their departments
* Provide each department team with tools to maximize their individual and team strengths
* Engage managers to adjust staffing assignments to maximize strengths
* Commit to an internal communication strategy that builds understanding with team (transparency) and maximizes the team strengths – all employees are saying every day “what do leadership’s action mean to ‘me'”!
* Consider an employee ambassador program with employees collaborate with the CEO
* As mentioned above, focus on culture, a safe and fair work environment and provide employees (and executives) a path for dialogue and openness
* Consider and review the handling of hiring, promotions and terminations – maximizing these processes and minimizing risk

Growth In Brand And Marketing

* Execute a “Brand Consistency Audit”
* Eliminate inconsistent outreach until it can be built to be consistent with brand
* Maximize your brand on social media where it can be helpful to communicate with top 20% of clients, ditch the rest
* Expect brand and enterprise information to leak on the web; set policies now including taking the high road and being well mannered in all correspondence, documents, etc.
* Examine your social responsibility goals and plan strategically
* Review your marketing goals, strategy and outreach tools to be sure there is an effective focus on how to best reach customers in the new mix of social media, traditional media and internal tribe activation

Growth In Distribution

* Review to 20% clients and identify areas of distribution growth
* Review integration if M&A occurred recently to see if distribution improvements can be made for new year
* Review use of technology in distribution; consider platform upgrades and movement into digital tools
* Upon completion of review, prepare a comprehensive approach and an implementation plan
* Investigate industry best practices and use what’s useful, no need to reinvent the wheel

Growth In Financing

* Evaluate your facilities and real estate – build or downsize
* Evaluate your vendors – continue with key vendors or do an RFP for new partners
* Evaluate your banks – make adjustments where needed
* Review debt and debt reduction strategies
* Evaluate merchant services and e-commerce to maximize margin
* Consider refinancing of loans, etc.
* Evaluate all insurance and risk issues (including cyber-security)
* Evaluate fleet arrangements
* If trading internationally, consider changes in foreign currency, stability, taxation, etc.
* Review cash procedures and cash flow strategies
* Consider adding investors
* Consider bringing executives into ownership group
* Review investments
* Confirm tax preparation is complete and maximizes your situation
* Review reports to be sure management is getting all necessary information in timely, useful manner
* Review and update succession plan
* Review financial structure
* Review potential changes in the tax law – adjustments could be wide swinging, working with your CPA will be critical to unravel the new policy
* Review your banking structure, credit card arrangements, use of on-line payment tools, etc.
* Review insurance – especially considering liability and business interruption coverage

Diane Warren is the founder of BounceOLOGY, a firm helping solve operational, revenue, marketing and coaching challenges. Diane consults with medium-sized and Fortune 500 companies, as well as non-profits.


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