Questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I Have The Right Team In Place?
- Your business has undoubtedly changed in 2012. Are there holes in your team you should fill?
- What sort of org do you want in each quarter of 2012 and how do you proactively get there?
- Are there people on the team who are underperforming or a bad fit? How do you remove these people from your team and when do you do it? (Hint: don't wait)
2. Do I Have The Capital I Need?
- When do you run out of money? Do you have at least 18 months of cash left?
- Should you raise money in 2012?
- What milestones do you need to reach in order to raise money (if that is your plan)?
- Who do you want to raise money from? How do you build buzz and relationships with that person now?
- Can you reach profitability in 2012? What are the tradeoffs to doing so (e.g. shrink the team? ramp sales? roll out new pricing)?
3. What Should I Be Doing Less Of? Or More Of?
- What are things that you spend time on that did not help you in 2012?
- Can you stop doing these things? If not, can you outsource them?
- Where did your team waste the most time in 2011?
- How do you make sure they spend time effectively in 2012?
- What was the biggest barrier to productivity for your team this past year?
- In hindsight, what were the activities in 2011 that created the most value for your business?
- How do you make sure your team spends its time on the most important things?
4. How Is My Product Doing?
- What do users love about your product? What are 1-2 things you can do to build on this momentum?
- What do users hate about your product? Do you need to fix these things?
- How much traction does your product have? Where does distribution come from?
- If you are early stage, are you working on the right product? When do you decide the product is working/not working and what do you do about it?
5. What Can I Do To 10X My Business This Year?
- Is there a market shift happening that you can exploit in 2012? (e.g. Android penetration? Rise of Pinterest for distribution to commerce sites? Something else?)
- How can you think bigger and bolder in 2012? What are 1-2 big audacious product / partnership / other goals you should swing for?
- How do you focus on the big swings despite everything else you are doing?
Any other questions you think are worth asking? Let me know in the comments section.
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