As a successful retailer, you need to work ‘in’ your business to generate a return on your investment now and work ‘on’ your business to ensure that you generate a return on your investment in future.
This means it is critical that you take time to stand back from business and objectively analyse it and develop a plan for future.
1.Do a SWOT Analysis on Your Business
You need an analysis process that will work in your business. Most consultants will tell you that a SWOT analysis carried out at least once a year is critical to your businesses success. Do SWOT analysis away from business so that you are not disturbed by day to day business distractions.
Ideally, get your key team members to join you to carry out analysis. A group of 5 or 6 in a team will develop more thought than one brain.
2.Identify Your Strengths
You need to clearly identify strengths of your business as your first objectives. As a group provide answers to following:
•What do we do really well?
•What sector of our retailing adds most to bottom line?
•What are areas of our business where we outperform out competition?
•What parts of our retailing endorses how customers perceive us with positive recognition?
3.Identify Your Weaknesses
Do not start your ‘think tank’ with identifying your weaknesses. Start with positive areas as this builds moral and confidence. But, key is to identify your weaknesses.
You need objective answers to following questions:-
•What areas of your business operation provide most frequent complaints?
•In what situation are we most vulnerable as a retail operation?
•What products or processes provide most problem?
•What products or processes bring in lowest returns?
4.Analyse Your Opportunities
Once your decide on what your strengths and weaknesses are, you can than start planning your future direction. Again, start with positive and look at opportunities.
You will need objective answers to following questions:-
•What opportunities exist to improve internal running of your retail business?
•What are current marketing opportunities that you should exploit?
•What changes are taking place that are external to your business, that will allow you to operate more effectively?
5.Analyse Treats to Your Business
The final part of your SWOT is to analyse threats to your business.