Winging it is something I’ve become quite good at. The DNA of being able to just fly by the seat of my pants comes from my younger days in broadcasting. When the mic is on, you have to say something. And in radio, you don’t always have a script to go by.

But winging it in business — though also a skill some people develop — isn’t wise. I was reminded of that in the last week with two conversations.

First, while explaining a content curation process to members of the Elasticity team, I was reminded that not everyone knows how to wing it. My idea for finding and sharing content on behalf of a client was simple, not time consuming and potentially very effective. But I won’t be the person executing on that process most days. I failed to consider that those who will may need a process, a checklist and more time to ensure they’re following them. What comes naturally to me may not to someone else.

The second conversation was with a strategic partner who is helping re-define my speaking and writing — dare I say my personal brand. She took me through the exercise of explaining who my speaking targets are, where I’ve gotten my leads and conversions in the past, what process I’ve used once a lead comes in to close and so on. Sadly, I didn’t have a lot of answers. I’ve always been content to just wing it.

The process of reconstructing how I do business, with whom and for how much helped me see that I’m vastly underserving my own best interests. I have to improve my lead generation volume, quality and process and if I do, my opportunities, not to mention revenues, will increase.

So while I’m learning from the process of reconstructing my business, why don’t you walk yourself through the exercise of reconstructing yours? It can’t hurt. It can only help.

Reconstructing Your Business Model

The process here is simple. Ask yourself the following questions. Write the answers down. When you’re finished, go back and review and see if anything inspires you to change something.

  1. Where do you get your best leads now?
  2. Where do you think you can get more?
  3. What are you doing to get leads?
  4. Could you be doing it better?
  5. Describe the person/job role who actually makes the purchase decision. Are you really targeting that person/role in your lead-gen efforts?
  6. How recently have you updated your target list?
  7. How recently have you worked the list thoroughly?
  8. How recently have you asked previous customers for a referral or recommendation?
  9. How many of the previous answers include an excuse as to why you aren’t/didn’t/haven’t?

If you ask yourself these questions, then review them with the intent of seeking weaknesses or opportunities in your approach, the worst that can happen is you confirm you’re doing it right.

What did you learn? Tell me about it in the comments.

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