When you are running your own business, how do you take a step back? To stop, evaluate, listen and learn from your customers and team?
Are the values and vision you hold dear, understood, and communicated to all your stakeholders and customers?
This is hard to do within your own business. Taking time away from the demands and stresses of “business as usual”, to pause and evaluate whether you are offering the best experience to your customers and your team, is important but also challenging. So how do you achieve this?
This is where a strategic business review comes into its own. Undertaking such a review will immediately help you to identify the strengths of your business, and pinpoint the weaknesses, creating an opportunity to highlight and rectify any problems before they become ingrained.
Most businesses conduct annual employee performance 360 reviews and find them extremely helpful with staff development and management, however, much greater value is to be had from running a whole business review, covering both your client’s and employees’ experience of working with your company. The process of looking at every aspect of your company, by reviewing each part of the structure from the top down, will reveal exactly how your business is perceived and identify any gap with your own view of how you want to be perceived.
What is a business review?
A business review evaluates key aspects within your business that are pillars of its success, through an in-depth audit and interviews with key stakeholders. The process is usually managed by an external partner, covering areas such as:
- Business objectives
- Vision, Mission and Values
- Service offering
- Key sectors
- New business strategy
- Marketplace perception
- Your people – staff engagement
- Client experience
The output of the review is a comprehensive report, providing evaluations and recommendations that engage your team, identify your ideal clients and ensures your brand messaging and values are woven throughout all of your company communications.
One of the benefits gained by a business review is the feeling of inclusion amongst your employees, while contributing to creating a more positive workplace.
From the answers obtained in the interviews, the review of supporting documentation, clarifications and from research, an extensive report is produced, which addresses all the areas above and summarises your successes and challenges in each area and provides recommendations to improve, including, but not limited to:
- Competitor analysis
- A review of your brand messaging and story and suggestions on your messaging going forward
- A full website audit
- A review of all your communications, social media, marketing collateral, pitch/presentation documents
- Development of user persona’s for your target audience
- A ‘secret shop’ to experience your customer journey
- Results from a staff engagement survey to inform Values and identify any areas for improvement
The report concludes with recommendations for all the key areas: – Business strategy, customer experience, your people, brand messaging and marketing strategy and activity. It will also provide a 3-month marketing plan that incorporates your Brand Strategy, which can be implemented at your own pace.
Any review you undertake can be a difficult read, as it will enable you to uncover issues you were completely unaware of. The process and findings can feel quite personal as your business is your passion. The key is to thoroughly evaluate the results and make changes where necessary.
A review can broaden your view of your company, clients, workplace and employees and steer you away from assumptions. It allows you to identify the improvement opportunities within the business and create a strategy to implement them.
The idea of any review can seem daunting and the results can be brutal and difficult to accept, but it can be a very useful way of identifying issues and weaknesses before they become a real problem affecting business performance. When managed properly, the results can lead to changes that ingrain best practices within every layer of the business and ensure that your employees and clients feel listened to and valued. The most important part of any business is the employees and ensuring they are all on board with the values and ethos of the business allows the company to develop and flourish in its given field.
If you would like to find out more about our Designated Business Review, please do get in touch:
Michelle Wheeler, Marketing Director, firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7952 1460