How to Uncover the Greatest Threats to Your Small Business

You need your business to be successful.

If your business fails, you won’t be able to earn a living and provide for yourself, your family, or your employees. If you don’t have money, you can’t buy food and shelter. And if you don’t have food and shelter, you die! (Credit to Glen Hellman for this bit of highly effective fearmongering).

Sound a little extreme?

Maybe, but to a large extent, it’s true. Your business is your livelihood. You can always try to find another job if things go wrong, but that would mean your business failed.

This is the pressure that many small business owners feel each day, and we’re here to help you change that feeling.

Instead of worrying about what the future holds, we want to build your confidence in your business. We want to give you a clear path to achieving your goals. And what we’re about to cover in this post will give you exactly what you need to focus on to make that happen.


You May Know Where You're Going, But You Need to Know Where You Are First

It’s simple. Drawing on our many years of experience starting, running, and working with small businesses, we have developed a quick and simple “Small Business Self-Assessment.” We’ve designed this Assessment to:

  1. find the weaknesses in your business,
  2. identify your greatest strengths, and
  3. design rapid actions to mitigate your weaknesses and build on your strengths.

Sound useful? Here’s the best part - you can lead yourself through the entire process in 10 – 15 minutes.

The Assessment is organized around eight essential focus areas for any business. It will challenge you to evaluate your business in each area, thoroughly and objectively. The areas are:

  1. Planning and Structure – Having a foundation from which you can develop all aspects of your business. Do you have clarity on your goals and top priorities? Is everyone in your company in agreement on what is important? Are you prepared to adjust course if internal or external factors force you to change?
  2. Leadership – Assessing your leadership capacity. Do you have what it takes to guide your business toward your vision? Are you able to communicate effectively, influence others, and resolve conflict in a productive way? Do people want to follow you?
  3. Team & Staff – Evaluating the health of your team. Does your workforce have the commitment, smarts, and skills to be successful? What might be holding you back from finding and retaining the best talent?
  4. Customer Relationships & Reputation – Looking objectively at the behaviors of your customers. Are they committed to your products/services? What do your clients say about you? Do they demonstrate loyalty through their feedback and buying patterns?
  5. Sales – Reviewing your sales processes. Are they creating the business opportunities that you need to operate confidently? Are you finding the right kind of leads? How effective are you at closing deals?
  6. Online Presence and Messaging – Determining if your online presence attracts customers. Does it tell the true story of your business? Does your web presence enhance your reputation? Do visits results in interest and new leads?
  7. Products and Services – Reviewing your offerings. Do they align with your greatest strengths and your customer needs? Are you focusing on the right solutions? Are your products/services positioned to be relevant as your customers grow?
  8. Operational Effectiveness & Efficiency – Making sure that your business has the processes and infrastructure in place to support your day-to-day work. Do your operations allow you to work efficiently and focus on what is most important? Is your company’s information and knowledge accessible?

Are you ready to get started? Here is all you need to do:

  1. Download the Small Business Self-Assessment. It’s totally free and contains all the instructions you will need. Enter your email address, click download, and the full 10-page PDF will be on its way.
  2. Watch this video. In it, small business expert Seth Sinclair offers a primer on the Checklist and addresses at least one key thought related to each area in the Checklist.
  3. Complete the Assessment. Take 10 minutes to rate your business against each item in the Assessment. Take another 5 minutes to tabulate your score and the associated Recommendations and Considerations.
  4. Share Your Results. Come back to this post and share your findings in the comments. What is one key weakness you found that surprised you? What strengths did you uncover? What is the first action you will take as a result of the assessment? We’ll be glad to respond and offer our thoughts and feedback.

About the Author

Seth Sinclair


Seth Sinclair is a leadership coach, management consultant, trainer, and facilitator with a passion for helping his clients achieve their personal and professional goals. Reach out by emailing him at or learn more on our About page.