Take the time to understand your business

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I have read many times of people who have come close to death, indeed a few of my friends have had heart attacks and thankfully survived. In nearly all cases, these near-death experiences have had a marked effect upon the person. They have seen their lives in a different light and have become determined to live in a better way. Most end up losing weight, eating better and doing some kind of sport to keep fit.

Why wait? Why don’t I follow a similar lifestyle knowing that my life is under threat from these deadly diseases? I guess because I am under the common misconception that these things will never happen to me. 

For many of us in business, we are currently going through a near death experience. The lock down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to many companies going out of business. In spite of government support the period will be too long for some as they run out of cash. For many though their markets won’t return quickly enough as restrictions are lifted, or they won’t be able to make sufficient profit to keep afloat.

These businesses that are going to survive need to use this near-death experience to see their business in a different light. Now is a perfect time to really understand the business that you are in and think about reshaping it to continue in a new and perhaps better way.

What does the business do? What are its main sources of income? Who are the key people that support these processes? Who are they key customers? What services do I need to provide to support these key activities? What are my competitors doing?

I have been thinking about this for a few weeks and have put together a living document which asks some of these questions. Of course I don’t know the answers as these are specific to the individual businesses but please check out the document and use it as you like.

In these difficult times, if there is one thing that you should do, it is to take the time to understand your own business. 

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