When it comes to strategic planning and brainstorming for the good of your small to medium business, a SWOT analysis comes very much in handy. You should conduct this analysis with a specific question or objective in mind if you want to get the most value out of it.
Utilizing the Business’ Strengths
It will help you find out which areas of your business are the strongest. These areas will be essential factors for your success and taking advantage of them will give your business a competitive edge. When you identify your business strengths and utilize them, you will be able to maintain them more effectively to avoid losing that competitive edge. Making sure your business grows will involve finding ways to utilize these strengths and build on them.
Managing the Business’ Weaknesses
The weaknesses in your business are factors that can jeopardize your competitive edge in comparison to your competitors. Once you identify these weaknesses and find ways to diminish them or improve on them, you can prevent them from becoming too big of a problem. You need to be realistic concerning your business’ weaknesses so you can handle them with full force.
Looking for New Opportunities for Your Business
The SWOT analysis can also help you find out new opportunities you can take advantage of for your business to boost profits. Usually, opportunities are generated by external factors outside the business and they could include market trends, economic trends, funding prospects, or new consumer trends. Looking for market opportunities is crucial to the survival and growth of your business. If, for example, your business’ SWOT analysis indicates that you can find new opportunities in changing market trends, then an advisable response would be to provide higher quality customer experiences, change advertising, change the prices of your existing products, or introduce new products.
There are other ways to look for new opportunities for your business aside from the SWOT analysis.
Look at other markets and how exporting products into other countries could bring about new business opportunities but you need to consider the current state of that new market as well. Do your research on the possible demand for your products, the local habits, and your competitors in that region.
Assess your Competition by researching on the other businesses in the market to find out their value proposition and competitive edge against your business. Establish your selling point so you can set yourself apart from these competitors. Find out what brings in customers and promote it.
Assess your Purchase Situation by looking at payment methods, distribution channels and other factors influencing purchasing to help you recognize how customers buy your services or products. You can then position them better or provide alternatives to bring in a new demographic of customers.
Section your Customer base into smaller groups based on shared characteristics like purchasing habits, attitude, lifestyle, location, gender, or age. This will help you assess the demand for your services or products and target each demographic section with specific offerings, promotions, and marketing to help you ultimately get new business opportunities.
Other types of business opportunities to look out for include website and business acquisitions, licensing, supply chain deals, distributor deals etc.
In order to set your business up for success, business analysis, business monitoring, and improvement of business performance are essential factors. Business process monitoring involves the real-time review of a certain activity or activities established to achieve a specific goal in an organization.
Managing your business without a complete understanding of the source of problems or opportunities can result in lost profits and unnecessary costs. Appropriate monitoring of business performance can help you improve cash flow and profits. It can be somewhat easy to establish the effects of these issues in a company but it can be even harder to establish the cause of these problems. If for example, there is a decline in sales, you may not know whether it because of issues with pricing, marketing, production, or challenges faced by the sales team.
So, What Are The 3 Ways You Can Use To Monitor Your Business’s Performance?
Anything you can measure in your business is essentially manageable. For you to perform effective business monitoring, you have to identify what you will monitor and how you will measure that. An analysis based on the facts of the data presented conducted by a relevant data analyst can help you focus your efforts on a successful strategy. Reliable measurement also helps you see where you need to improve.
This method involves a comparison of your business performance against that of your competitors. If your business has reduced annual sales growth in comparison to one of your competitors, you may want to find out why your competitors are experiencing better growth in order to make adjustments.
Most businesses usually monitor their performance over one specific period and this can be hard to see the bigger issues that could be building up over time. Monitor the trends of ratios and expenses over several periods and monitor positive and negative trends.
This method is used to observe actual budgets, revenues, and costs against your initial estimates. By monitoring variances in forecasts and budgets, business managers can make changes to get on the right track and boost future forecast.
Business managers and owners usually lack the resources, expertise, and time to properly monitor their business’ performance, and ensure their reports remain updated. It would be best to outsource an outside expert such as a business architect so you experience the advantages of proper monitoring to reach your company’s strategic goals and increase profits. The main essence of monitoring business performance is to determine the connection between all the factors that influence economic performance long-term. You will have to identify one main goal and monitor all the business KPIs related to it and exhibiting an effect on its performance.
Generate A Clear Business Strategy With 1 Measurable Primary Goal.
This will guide you on time and resource allocation while being the main indicator of your long-term business growth. Without a well-defined goal for your small to medium business, you will find it difficult to agree on the measurements of success as a business manager.
Generate A Causal Model Based On Your Hypotheses In The Strategic Plan.
Your hypotheses should be founded on the main company goal.
- Think of all the possible aspects contributing to the growth indicators on your KPI dashboard i.e. profitability and liquidity.
- Collect consistent and relevant data that will help you determine a causal model for tracking company performance.
- Characterize all your team members’ skill sets to find out how they can work to improve your KPIs.
- You will then establish a plan to achieve the main objective through all your actions.
- You will also establish a plan for resource allocation that supports the main goal.