Just when we think things are going along very well and we can sit back and relax, we need to review and revise.
Regularly reviewing your progress, identifying your organisation’s strengths and areas that could be improved and implementing actions all make for more successful and sustainable businesses.
The major thing that will help in analyses is to determine the strengths and weakness of the company, this will distinguish between the highly performing, value returning areas and what might need improvement.
It’s easy to focus only on day-to-day issues. However it’s important to focus on longer-term and more strategic planning. This becomes more relevant if you take on staff, expand your business, appoint team leaders or managers or directors.
A few things you may want to consider when you decide to undertake a business review:
- Where are you headed? Where are you now, where do you want to go over the next three to five years and how do you intend to get there?
- What are my markets, or my client/customer base – now and in the future?
- How long is it since I updated my Stakeholder Plan?
- How can the organisation out perform the competition in my chosen sector or market/s?
- Have we got the appropriate insurances?
- What resources will I need to succeed? What partnerships, assets, finance, professional skills and facilities do I need? Have these changed since I started?
- What environment are we operating in? What external factors may affect the organisation’s ability to compete?
- How am I managing risk?
- How am I measuring success?
- Are we compliant with relevant laws, reporting and accounting requirements?
Answering these questions could involve board members, senior staff and/or consultants. Always include internal and external stakeholders to assist with this process.
A good starting point for your review is to evaluate what you actually do – your core activities, the products that you make, or services that you provide. Ask yourself what makes them successful, how they could be improved and whether you could introduce new or complementary products or services.
Assessing the efficiency of the business
Asking yourself if there are any internal factors holding the organisation back, and if so, what can you do about them, is an important next step.
- Information technology
- People and skills
- Professional skills
Review your financial position
Businesses often fail because of poor financial management or a lack of planning. Often the business plan that was used to help raise finance, or the grant submission to establish your organisation, is put on a shelf and never seen again.
When it comes to success, developing and implementing sound financial and management systems (or paying someone to do it for you) is extremely important.
Updating your original business plan and reviewing your finances is a great next step.
There are a number of useful analysis tools and models including:
- The SWOT analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
- Risk Assessment and Mitigation
- Client/Consumer/Customer Surveys
If business review or planning are new to you, or you would benefit from external advice and support, Leadership and Change Consultants are able to assist.