Monday, 13 October 2014

Looking at how to analyse your company and your competition

I have been looking at different ways to analyse threats to your business, and came across this blog in a similar vein-

There are many ways at deciding what way to take your business forward and the above blog may be one if them. I've worked with many companies and used many ways of deciding which way I'd forward-

SWOT analysis
Competitor analysis
Annual cost reviews

SWOT analysis
This stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. And the analysis works straight along those lines. Divide a piece if A4 into 4 and in each section you simply write the Strengths, Weaknesses of your business, and the Opportunities and Threats to your business. From these areas you can formulate your plan. Expand on your strengths, work on your weaknesses, explore the opportunities, mitigate against the threats.

Competitor analysis
This is about looking at the key areas of the business and marking yourself and your competitors objectively. This will give the areas that you need to focus your efforts in. If your competitor scores highly in a particular area then you may need to rethink or redesign how you approach this area.

Annual costs review
I worked with a company that used the annual accounts to prompt a review into spending, and this prompted a review of all aspects of the business based on how spending decisions had influenced the year that had just passed.

For example - "we spent £500 on advertising in the Yellow Pages last year. How much business did this get us?" And from there you would check the referral database to see how much business came from the Yellow Pages, whether this was cost effective and whether it was something that should be repeated.

I like this method for the ability to relate the activity to cost and results, but it feels a little bottom-up in terms of how a company should be run.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to consider where your business is in relation to where you want it to be.

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