Time to make changes to your business? First, assess the situation!

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Do you think it’s time to make changes to your business? It may be important to tweak the way you’re doing some things, but don’t rush to change everything at once. Let’s talk about the importance of assessing the situation.

There are 2 things most companies notice and want to change right away: a lack of sales and spending more than they have. These are both critical signs it is time to make improvements. It’s quite tempting to rush in first thing on Monday morning and make about dozen changes, hoping that by the end of the week all will be back to the way things should be for your business.

Without proper assessment, you simply won’t have an understanding of what needs to be changed. It’s quite easy to wind up making a snap judgement. Or to neglect doing the important research to find the best solution. Sometimes your weakest point is something you need to take a hard, cold look at and may even need to get a second opinion about.

But not everyone understands exactly how to assess their business. So here are a few helpful tools to put into place, when business starts to feel wobbly and you realize it’s time to make tweaks. Do your assessment and we assure you: you’ll feel far more confident about whatever you decide to put into place.

Tip #1: Look at your SWOT

That’s your business’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. If you did a business plan when you started then you may have created an initial SWOT but we recommend doing one with fresh eyes. Look at your business objectively for a week or so, as if you were giving advice to a trusted friend or colleague who was going to make business decisions. What would you want them to know?

Tip #2: Check out the competition

Now this is something you should try to do regularly. Simply keep an eye on what your competition is doing – what innovations, new products and services they have. What their customers are saying about them on social media is an excellent starting point. You’ll get extra bonus points if you try to do a SWOT for your competition based on what you know, as it shows you truly have a sense of their business.

Tip #3: Stay up-to-date on trends

Today’s businesses change quicker than ever before and while this can be exciting it also can be overwhelming at times. Consider what trends and market research is critical for your business niche and industry. Then also take a look at your ideal customer, what makes them decide to make that purchase and what trends are affecting them now.

Tip #4: Brush up on your skills

If your business has taken a downturn with a lack of sales or increased spending, this is an area to seriously consider. What skills does your competition have that you are lacking in? Some small businesses have decided that social media “isn’t worth the time” and then are surprised when customers don’t think they are with the times. Learning new skills can be done as quickly as in half an hour or up to a couple of months for many of them, but is well worth the investment.

Set aside half an hour every month to assess your business. Taking stock in the success of your company can only assist you and your employees to strive to improve each quarter.