How to Know What Your Business Needs to Grow

How to Know What Your Business Needs to Grow
How was the experience when you visited a city you’ve never been to before? I bet it was adventurous and thrilling, getting to think of all the possibilities that lie ahead of you. This journey can turn out to be a very difficult one especially if you embark on it without proper planning and guidance. This experience can be likened to the management of a business.

When you understand the business environment you are operating in and what you have can make the journey easier.  Failing to understand where you stand as you begin your journey would, at best, make it difficult to reach your destination.

To grow your business, you have to understand the business environment better and the current situation at hand. You have to ask the right questions in order to be guided in the right direction. Conducting a meaningful business assessment will go a long way to help you understand what your business needs to grow.

Here are some factors to consider that will aid you to assess your business.

 

Internal Assessment

In this step, you gather the points of view from people inside of the organisation, such as employees or business partners – people who are close enough to the brand to care about its success. Gathering this information consists of posing two simple questions:

  • What is working for your business; and therefore, what should you continue doing?
  • What is not working for your business, and what should you stop doing?

 

Probing for unbiased viewpoints not only generates a more accurate picture of the brand, but it also helps the respondents to think more objectively, providing more open and honest responses.

Answers to the first question will highlight areas of the business that people are proud to be a part of. You might learn about recent successes, particularly strong contributions from certain individuals or activities with consistent and proven results.

The second question will highlight fissures in your brand – problems that could exponentially spiral out of control if not attended to. To dig deeper on problem areas, this question can be preceded with more direct questions. For example: “If you were the leader of the brand, what would you focus on?

These questions will likely get the most passionate answers. Asking someone what he or she would do if they were in charge will typically reveal their No. 1 frustration – the one thing they feel should be immediately addressed.

Asking these questions across a broad spectrum of stakeholders is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of your business.

Once you have a consolidated list of the perceptions of the business, you can rank the issues based on their potential impact on the business. Once the internal assessment is complete, the next step is to answer some questions about your business in relation to the marketplace. This will help you gain the big picture of your business.

 

Market Assessment

In the second step, you will assess the key environmental forces that affect your brand and its overall health and ability to do business.

You can do this by conducting a simple SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis.

 

Step one is to define your brand’s competitive set – the products or services that could easily replace what your brand is offering. With your list of competitors, you can begin to populate the following four quadrants by answering how well your brand stacks up against the competition as well as the key market dynamics across these vectors.

  • Strengths: What are the brand elements most helpful in driving growth?
  • Weaknesses: What are the brand elements that are setbacks to growth?
  • Opportunities: What market conditions can accelerate growth?
  • Threats: What market conditions can significantly limit growth?

 

With the quadrants populated, you can derive key insights to select a growth strategy that uses your strengths to tap into opportunities and consider any weaknesses and threats that might jeopardise your growth. This analysis will increase your chances of success in the market.

Completing these two steps will give you the best assessment of your business. After the assessment, you’ll know what your brand needs to begin doing, what it needs to stop doing and what practices to continue. The clarity gained from this exercise will serve as a solid foundation on which to build your business.

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