How to Use As-Is Analysis' to Accurately Assess Your Current Situation To Build Effective Plans
As-is analysis - almost sounds like something painful. It's not.
Your uplifting, motivational vision provides a statement of where you want your business 'to be' in one, two and three years time. As-Is analysis accurately assesses your current business situation.
The gap between the as-is and the to-be is what all of our strategy and planning activities must be designed to fill.
If your vision involves selling top class services to FTSE 100 customers your will have trouble if all your sales and marketing team come from predominantly small business backgrounds.
As-Is Analysis Tools
SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
SWOT is probably the best known business analysis tool. And it is blindingly simple.
Use each heading - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats - in turn and brainstorm as many factors for each that affect your business.
Strengths and Weaknesses are largely factors internal to your business over which you have some control. Opportunities tend to be external for which you have little or no control.
Using your SWOT analysis you can form strategies and plans to use your strengths to exploit opportunities, and turn your threats into opportunities and your weaknesses into strengths.
In all probability you included a SWOT analysis in you business plan. If so, you only need to revisit that analysis and look at it from a business development and marketing viewpoint.
For more specific help on performing a SWOT analysis have a look at the SWOT page over at QuickMBA.
Not done your business plan yet? Does it seem like too much effort. Treat yourself to a copy of Business Plan Pro. . It's not the cheapest option out there but it is still the best. And with over 100 pre-built business plans you are sure to find something you can use to get you started.
Specific Marketing Analysis
Your SWOT analysis probably dealt with the more general business issues facing you. Here are some questions designed to help your as-is analysis of your marketing and customer strategies:
What are your primary methods of obtaining new customers?
How effective are they?
What are your primary methods of developing existing customers?
How effective are they?
What do you do to monitor your retention of customers?
What system do you have in place to reactivate old customers?
What marketing techniques have you used in the past?
How effective were they?
Why have you stopped using them?
From what market sector or segment do you obtain most of your customers?
Can you analyse the buying profile and profitability of each customer by sector and segment?
What are the main marketing problems or issues you need to solve now?
These questions are posed simply to get you thinking about your current business and marketing situation. Other questions are sure to leap out at you as you go.
The better you know your own 'as-is' state, the better prepared you are to achieve your vision - the 'to-be'.
Know your enemy - Analyse your competitors
Revisit your vision?
Overhaul your marketing plans?
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