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“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” so said Benjamin Franklin

There is no doubt we live in uncertain times.  Life and business can and does change by the day and week.

While we can never know exactly what is around the next corner for our business, we should at least put some effort into thinking about where our business is vulnerable and where potential opportunity lies.

It therefore important the management team of every business takes time out on a regular basis to think about these possibilities good and bad.

The tried and tested SWOT analysis is always a good place to start. It is such a simple concept, but very powerful.

Taking a short time to work through the model will reveal the areas of the business that need attention. Think about how to improve each area (e.g. cost savings). Are there opportunities to grow the business? (e.g. new product lines)

It is usually quite simple to identify issues or opportunities.  The hard part is trying to develop solutions that change things for the better.

The best approach is to share the load amongst the team.  Select those changes that will bring the most value to the business.  Document the objectives and tasks, so there can be no doubt about what the team has agreed. There are many software tools available to help you do this.

Accountability is the key to making change.  So once the team has agreed on the changes, assign each task to one or more team members.  Set deadlines and milestones, and review the progress along the way.

Don’t expect change to be instant.  If you keep everyone focussed on the plan, you will achieve the results you desire.  And, of course, the business will be more prepared for whatever comes it's way!