Many new businesses work in a short-term, reactive way. This offers flexibility – but can cost time and money as you move from getting the business going to concentrating on growing and developing it.
The best option is to balance your ability to respond rapidly with a clear overall strategy. This will help you decide whether the actions you take are appropriate or not.
At this stage you should ask yourself if there are any internal factors holding the business back, and if so, what can you do about them?
Consider the various aspects of your business in turn.
- Do you have room to grow, or the flexibility to cut back if necessary?
- What are your long-term commitments to the property?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of your current location?
If you move premises, what will be the cost? Will there be long-term cost savings and improvements in efficiency?
1. If you manufacture products, how modern is your equipment?
2. What is the capacity of your current facility compared to existing and forecast demand?
3. How will you fund any improvements?
4. How do you compare with your competition?
1. What management information and other IT systems do you have in place?
2. Will these systems cater for any proposed expansion?
3. Will they really make a difference to the quality of product or service your business provides? If they don’t, can you change them to make sure they do?
4. Do you make best use of technology such as wireless networking and mobile telephony to allow for more flexible working?
People and skills
5. Do you have the right people to achieve your objectives?
6. Do they know what is expected of them?
7. Do you operate a training and development plan?
8. Do you pay as well as the competition?
9. Do you suffer from high staff turnover? Are staff motivated and satisfied?
10. Do you have room to grow, or the flexibility to cut back if necessary?
11. Do you have the right management team in place for growth?
12. Do you have the skills available that you need in areas such as human resources, sales and IT?
13. Do your staff need new or improved skills or to be retrained?