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Do you feel that your business is stagnating? Are you struggling to move your business forward? Has your passion for the business waned? Have you reached a crossroads with your business and are not sure which way to go?
All the above may be signs that it is time to refresh your business.
So if you are feeling like this how can you refresh your business? Here are some ideas for you to try:
Reflect on where you are. Get together with your management team and review the business and where it currently is. Be totally honest with yourselves. A great starting point is a SWOT analysis in which you consider the business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Consider all aspects of the business. Ask for feedback from your customers, staff, suppliers and other business contacts to widen your perspective.
Consider where you want to be. Think about where you want the business to be over the short, medium and longer term. You may decide you want to rapidly grow the business or maybe stabilise the business with more steady growth or you may decide you want to get the business ready for sale. Once you have identified your goals for the business you can start to identify what needs to change in the business and what you need to do differently. Comparing where you want to be with where you are will identify the areas for change.
Understand the current market place and trends. Consider what is happening in the wider world. What are the trends in your business area and marketplace? What is likely to impact your business over the next few years? What are your customer preferences and how are they likely to change? What is and will be the economic, political and business backdrop to your current and future business? What are your competitors doing and what are their plans?
Get creative and seek out new opportunities. Step back from the business and get creative. Ways to be creative and find new opportunities include asking what if questions, thinking differently, looking at things from different perspectives, allowing ideas to flow, not making assumptions or judgements, making connections, associations and looking for opposites and letting your mind wander. You may also want to seek outside help to get creative and find new opportunities.
Understand what you don't need to do anymore. Really think about your current business and consider what you don't need to do anymore. Have you got processes that are obsolete and serving no purpose? Have you got products and services that the customers don't buy anymore? Are any of your products and services unprofitable?
Challenge everything in the business. Consider all aspects of your current business and really challenge everything you are currently doing. What processes and procedures could be automated? What cost savings can you make? Are your business premises right for your current and future plans? Is your sales and marketing activity bringing in the business you need or do you need to change it? Have you got the right staff in place in all areas of the business? It is easy to accept the status quo in your business but that will not move you forward.
Consider your own contribution to the business. In thinking through the business also consider your own management style and behaviours, as well as those of your management team. How are your leadership and management skills? How are your communication skills? How do you manage your time? What impact do you have on the business performance and those around you? There are many ways in which you and your management team can improve your effectiveness and contribution to the success of the business.
Identify changes and what you want to do differently. By reviewing the above you can start to understand the changes you need to make to refresh your business and move your business to where you want it to be. Consider the changes you want to make to the business and to your performance in the business and carefully think through what you need to do and when. Be realistic in your thinking and planning.
Make a plan and take action. From here you can now make a plan of what you need to do and change in the business. Your plan will include the changes, priorities, deadlines and detailed actions. Once you have a plan you can start taking action throughout the business to make the necessary changes. Be flexible and adaptable, updating your plan as circumstances change.
Ask for help and support. The above may seem overwhelming to do or you may feel that you don't have the knowhow or expertise to progress. You can always seek help and support from people within and outside your business.
Hopefully the above tips and ideas will help you to think about how to refresh your business.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: March 2017
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk
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