The count-down to Brexit Series 1

Preparing your business for change.

Competitive business planning: How prepared is your business?  

To help evaluate and improve areas of your business, gain insight to your competitors or to plan your next project, a simple internal assessment using a SWOT analysis is an effective way to do so, whilst identifying your key business investment areas.

This form of analysis can be used at any stage during business development planning for start-ups, businesses trading for some time or perhaps for those businesses that just want to deep-dive and look at areas of their business a little closer and stay on top.

It’s likely that many business professionals have already assessed their business, but with Brexit fast approaching, what better time to take a fresh look. For those that haven’t yet done so, a SWOT will enable you to analyse your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

To support you to identify the facts behind your business, where possible, work with others internally or externally to help achieve the best possible results and gain different prospectives of your business. Transfer these findings into your SWOT tool (example below). Where working with others isn’t so easy, you can draft a list of facts for each of the four SWOT boxes and prioritise these to contribute to the strength of your business strategies.

Conducting a SWOT will require an investment of time and resource, but the return on this investment (ROI) should far out-weigh these requirements and will ensure that you are doing all that you can to maximise the strength of your business.

Set out to develop around 4-6 key questions for each of the boxes and be competitive in the marketplace through developing SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound action plan objectives and address the list for each of your SWOT boxes.

Strengths and Weaknesses are the things that you will be able to change in your business, and Opportunities and Threats are often very difficult and can’t be changed internally so the aim here is to mitigate them.    


Here are examples of areas that some businesses may identify during the SWOT analysis:

·       STRENGTHS: *Marketing *Technology *Demand *Availability *Accessibility *Quality

·       WEAKNESSES: *Insufficient capital *Lack of resources *Marketing exposure *Location *Growth funding  

·       OPPORTUNITIES: *Partnerships *Gap in the market *Resource support *Networking & relationships

·       THREATS: *Existing & new competitors *Consistency of customer service *Perception of existing customers 

               

Stay ahead of the competition and invest in your business. 

Changetoolbox helping businesses to prepare for change. 

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