Many years of involvement with entrepreneurial start-ups as well as companies wanting to scale up or tune up has identified a pattern. There are tire kickers (going through the motions) and there are tire checkers (pro-maintenance).

Every organization, whether ‘for profit’ or ‘not for profit’, needs to check their tire pressure.

In the automotive world, the right tire pressure is a balance between traction and fuel economy. This holds true for business as well. You want the optimal amount of traction in your market at the right cost for your business. Traction is about building a stronger connection on the ‘market’ roadway you are travelling. To assess your traction and fuel economy mix, you need to answer 4 questions. The questions are simple – the answers are not. But collectively – the answers will explain the type of traction you are getting for the resources you are expending – where you are gripping, where you are slipping and where you are making or losing money.

Think of these questions as the 4 tires of your business vehicle – the answers are the decisions you are making for your organization.

  1. Why will people choose your business? What will you SAY to them that matters?
  2. Why should they believe you? What will you DO to make it true?
  3. How will they be better off for choosing you? What will they GET to prove it’s true?
  4. How will you track your Progress and your Success? What indicators will you WATCH to guide your decisions?

The questions are the same for every organization, but the answers are different for each organization. The choice of tires depends on the size and type of vehicle, the driver, the load and the road. For your business, your answers will depend on the size of your business, your market, your goals, your value proposition, your management, your culture and your processes. And like tires, these need to be operating at the optimal balance between traction for your business and the cost (i.e. fuel economy) of doing business. If you have high fuel economy (spend less) – you have lower traction (resonance with your market) and are going to be less competitive in your market. On the other hand, greater traction (resonance) at a high cost to you will not be sustainable for your organization.

Take a moment to check the traction and fuel economy on your ‘business tires’ using a scale of 0-10 where Zero is Don’t Know, 1 is Poor and 10 is Excellent . The scale positions ‘Don’t Know’ the lowest, as even the selection of a Poor score shows recognition of your situation and the opportunity to focus on improvement.

Tire # 1: how well does your value proposition RESONATE with your target audience?

Tire # 2: how well is your business model designed around ALL the key success factors for delivering on your value proposition?

Tire # 3: how TANGIBLE is the deliverable that makes your value proposition true and valued by your target audience?

Tire # 4: how USEFUL are the metrics you collect for monitoring progress and measuring success?

Fuel indicator: to what extent are the costs of doing business generating the returns you want?

These scores will give you a preliminary look at which tires are slipping and which are gripping, and whether your cost of traction is working for you. Do you need more traction or more fuel economy or both? Focus on your lowest score and how it relates to the other scores. A change in one will generate a change in the others. 360traction can help you connect the moving parts.

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