It’s fairly obvious that if a company wants to succeed and thrive it needs to make a profit. But if your business is starting to struggle you may be worried about simply keeping the doors open.
Beyond that, however, you need to also focus on what isn’t working and how to improve it. In a nutshell, this is the essence of gap analysis. When broken down, it’s much more.
But the question is, can gap analysis benefit your business? To respond to that question we must look closer at what gap analysis is.
Evaluate Current Performance
The first step in a good gap analysis plan for any business is to evaluate its current performance. That’s really the only way to know where the problem areas are. It will also help you determine if gap analysis will actually benefit your business.
If you’re running a very large business this could be quite and undertaking. You’ll need to both how and why everything is done.
There are lots of tools that can help this phase of gap analysis. One is time tracking to ensure the right people are doing the right things and not wasting time doing them. Another is a customer survey.
To be thorough and actually make improvements the process will take some time to complete. It may even take more than one person to get it done.
The problem is that it could disrupt the flow of your business. That’s why some businesses hire outside agencies to help them conduct gap analysis. It helps them focus on their business while someone else does the evaluating.
Identify Areas that Need Improvement
Once the evaluation of personnel, processes, and goods and services is complete it’s time to identify troublesome areas. Depending on the scale and number of problem areas, you may or may not be able to fix everything simultaneously.
For example, it may help to find and document the larger problems first through. Then look for problematic areas that are of secondary concern.
Or, you may want to first focus on improvements that cost less or affect more customers. No matter what approach you take to identify areas of concern, begin creating a plan to make improvements happen.
Implement Changes to Achieve Desired Outcomes
Now that you’ve evaluated and identified areas that need improvement it’s time to make changes. But getting from where you are to where you want to be isn’t as easy as saying it. The gaps may be identified, but how do you fill them?
Getting Personnel on Board
You may have to get other people in your business on board with the changes to accomplish your improvement goals. To do that, you and any other top leaders in your company have to fully embrace the changes.
In other words, nothing can be half-way. It’s all or none because most people see through it when your efforts are not sincere. If you talk the talk and also walk the walk they eventually will too.
Some of the improvements in your business could cost money. Whether or not you are able to implement some or all of them could come down to the almighty dollar.
It’s ultimately up to you to determine if you will receive a good return on investment. But keep in mind, spending the money now might mean increased profits over the long haul in the future.
Of course you want your business to succeed and gap analysis can benefit your business. However, spending money on improvements must be weighed against what will be gained in the future.