Have you done a business assessment lately?

It’s March (Madness) and I’m wondering, have you had your assessment? Not your personal health assessment — although, I encourage you to do so —  but your business assessment?

You’re probably asking: What’s he talking about?

Let me explain.

Just like you’re encouraged to get an annual checkup to ensure your physical and well being are on track based on your health needs and goals, I believe now is a good time for you to think about your business’ overall health.

As a business owner or an entrepreneur, how many times have you assessed your business since you’ve mapped out your business plan, secured funding and started your business?

The primary purpose of the business plan is to provide you with a roadmap — a strategic roadmap for short- and longer-term growth.

Specifically, it helps you to identify:

1.  Key business objectives

2. Critical strategies

3.  Success criteria

4.  Financial targets/metrics

5.  Key milestone dates

And, where appropriate, where you need to fine tune or adjust your overall strategic approach.

While a business plan is also used to assess business, investment and growth opportunities, I have discovered many entrepreneurs rarely go back and review their diagnostics relative to their stated business plan.

In other words, there are certain tools to measure your personal health, i.e. scales, blood pressure monitors, body mass index (BMI), et. al.  These are generally measured over time to determine whether your overall health is maintaining, improving or not.

Same with your business.

What tools are you using to measure the overall health of your business, how are you doing it and how are you tracking over time?  And how are these results being used to drive change and/or evolve your strategic approach?

For example, are you just using stated financial goals (sales, revenues, profits) or position in the market place (market share) or acquiring and/or retaining customers (satisfaction, loyalty, retention)?

Or, are you using a combination of metrics?

Many entrepreneurs use traditional metrics and not necessarily diverse, wide-ranging metrics.  Certainly, it’s your choice based on your goals and business needs.

The point is understanding how to use data relevant to your business and, once complete, take an honest, objective assessment based on business results.

And, if necessary, modify your plans to reflect the changing business dynamics and results.

Like a doctor’s recommendations based on your personal assessment, this may lead to a refinement of your business objectives, strategies and tactics.

That’s OK, because business can be fluid, transparent, dynamic and/or complex — all, at once.  So, the challenge is adapting to change in a dynamic, changing market.

Your business health assessment will help you to determine where you are and and where you need to go.

As we’re entering the completion of the first quarter of 2013, I would encourage you to assess your 2012 business results relative to where you’re trying to go in 2013.

Now, let me ask you a question, how’s the health of your business?  I would encourage you to complete your assessment — you might be better off for it.