Making the most of new business opportunities can be tough.
Technology, rapidly changing consumer cycles and economic instability mean sustaining (let alone building) business is a full time headache.
In today’s business environment, sustaining growth and profitability is never a guarantee.
Yet in spite of the hurdles, it's business owners themselves who need to take a step back in 2018 and re-assess what they want to achieve, how they intend to do it and employ clear direction and knowledge to achieve it.
Initial planning should start now, to ensure there's none of the dreaded festive season 'lag' characterised usually by promises of 'I'll do it next week when things get back to 'normal'
Of course, if you need a fresh outlook and new ideas - you can engage a business coach with a detailed knowledge of high performing businesses in your market segment to lend a hand. Not surprisingly, it's an area many businesses are now turning to as part of a re-evaluation on how they operate and source a competitive edge.
So? What should your 3 immediate (and relatively painless) action points be as we head into the 'silly season'?
Firstly do a direct competition assessment and SWOT analysis.
Sure, a SWOT analysis is most commonly seen as part of a marketing plan but is also strategic planning tool that helps a business owner identify his or her own strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and threats that may exist in a specific business situation.
Review your business plan
Make sure you include your financial statements, to understand what is happening within your business. Reviewing and updating your business plan will help you respond to the risks of an economic downturn or market shift.
You can also use the SWOT analysis tool and a financial analysis to understand how you can best deal with critical issues that may affect your business.
Benchmarking uses information sourced from key businesses within the same industry to establish a range of averages. These can include overheads, hours, wages etc. Then use this information to compare and measure your business performance.