Planning
People
Processes
Positioning
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4P Business Development Ltd
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Profitability

Working on the Planning, People, Processes and Positioning Creates Profitability

Turning your analysis on its head …

When I discuss business models with my clients, they all look at me with a blank face. Why on Earth would they want to do that, what use is it to their business? They’ve got far better things to do with their time …

TOWS goes beyond SWOT and turns your analysis on its head …

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So many business owners believe that they understand what a SWOT analysis is and place little value on it. Perhaps that is because they may have omitted to carry out an in-depth analysis, but more likely, they have never realised the positive return on the time invested because they have never converted it to a TOWS matrix.

 

“Last week, I introduced PESTLE and the results of that exercise should feed directly into a SWOT analysis!”

 

Like so many business models, a SWOT analysis is an absolute waste of time completing just for the sake of it. There has to be a strategic outcome that you can apply to your business in order to reap the benefits.

So what exactly is a TOWS Matrix then?

Well, it’s where we take the results of a SWOT analysis and turn them on their head, translating into a working document and business plan.

Often, a criticism of a SWOT analysis is that it doesn’t show the relationships between the different factors. As an example, a specific threat might show a weakness as much more significant.

Whereas a TOWS analysis will look to match internal and external factors to help identify strategic ideas an organisation could pursue. It helps you to see how it can take advantage of opportunities, reduce threats, overcome weaknesses and exploit any strengths.

Once you’ve listed your ideas in each inner quadrant, evaluate the options you’ve generated and identify the ones that give the greatest benefit and best achieve your goals.

This helps you identify strategic alternatives that address the following additional questions:

  • Strengths and Opportunities (SO) – How can you use strengths to take advantage of opportunities?

  • Strengths and Threats (ST) – How can you benefit from strengths to avoid threats?

  • Weaknesses and Opportunities (WO) – How can you use opportunities to overcome weaknesses?

  • Weaknesses and Threats (WT) – How can you minimise weaknesses and avoid threats?

Evaluate any options you’ve generated and identify any that give your business the greatest benefit, and that will best achieve the mission and vision of your organisation. Add these to the other strategic options that you’re considering.

 

“You can find a copy of both the SWOT and TOWS matrices on my website!”

 

For assistance with either TOWS or SWOT, and in creating the perfect plan for your business, do call me on 01280 700405 or click here to send me an email enquiry and let’s see how I can help you.

Until next time …

KATH BONNER-DUNHAM

 

PS:

If you’re looking for a partner to help grow your business, visit www.4pbusinessdevelopment.co.uk to discover how 4P Business Development can help you!

Using models to help strengthen your business …

Today we are going to look at PESTLE Analysis to understand how you can minimise the risks your business faces, eliminate threats and maximise opportunities …

PESTLE Analysis can help minimise risks, eliminate threats and maximise opportunities!

copyright: 4p business development

Do you have a business plan? Have you carried out the general assessments in order to understand exactly where your business sits in the market? Do you know what risks from external factors may affect you and your business? PESTLE Analysis is a framework used to scan your organisation’s external macro-environment.

 

“But why would you want to bother with that, you may ask?”

 

So many people start a business because it’s something they are really good at, or the products are ones they particularly like, frequently without any strategy or planning. Probably, they have not even thought about the market and if there is a place for them in it.

Take the time to conduct a PESTLE Analysis as it gives a bird’s eye view of the whole environment from many different angles that you should keep track of while contemplating on specific ideas, plans and strategies.


To begin with, there are a number of crucial questions you need to ask while carrying out this analysis to keep you moving forward and to give you an idea of what things to keep in your mind:

  • What is the political situation of the country and how might it affect my business?

  • What are the prevalent economic factors and situation may affect my business?

  • How much impact does culture have in the market and how may that affect my business?

  • What technological innovations are likely to pop up and affect the market structure?

  • Are there any current legislations that regulate the industry or can there be any change in the legislations for the sector that I am working in?

  • What are the environmental concerns for the industry sector?

So what next? Ideally, you should be considering all the factors from both the view of threats to your business, and also from the view of opportunities that may be open for you to realise greater potential.


It can be helpful to create a matrix to capture this information and allow further analysis:

  • Political Factors – Factors that may determine to what extent the Government may influence specific industry sectors or the economy:

    • Government stability

    • Tax regulations

    • Trade restrictions

    • Dominant political ideology

    • Bureaucracy issues

    • Fiscal policy

  • Economic Factors – Factors that determine of your economic performance which will directly impact your profits:

    • Inflation

    • Taxes & duties

    • Exchange rates

    • Finance credit

    • Cost of living

    • GDP

  • Social Factors – Factors around personal attitudes, core values and beliefs together with demographics:

    • Social mobility

    • Education

    • Ethics & religion

    • Historic issues

    • Demographics

    • Attitude & beliefs

  • Technological Factors – Factors including the rate of the rapid technological changes and innovation and how that may impact on your business:

    • Rate of change

    • Research & development

    • Production efficiency

    • Quality

    • Pricing

    • Intellectual property

  • Legal Factors – Factors, internally and externally, that when changed will affect your business, cash flow and profitability:

    • Taxation

    • Employment

    • Advertising

    • Heath & safety

    • Compliance

    • Regulatory bodies

  • Environmental Factors – Factors that may include geographical, and global changes in addition to aspects such as tourism and agriculture and how that may impact your business:

    • Infrastructure

    • Energy availability & cost

    • Disposal of materials

    • Legislation

    • Cynical weather

    • Ecological consequences


Once you have completed the PESTLE Analysis matrix, then it’s time to begin to use the information gathered, understanding the potential threats to the business’ ongoing profitability and to assist in identifying future difficulties you may likely face so that action can be taken to help avoid and eliminate their effects.

Similarly, the matrix from a positive viewpoint can enable your business to be aware of opportunities that may become available in the future.

Analyse the findings and identify strategic options to minimise threats and maximise opportunities.

It is important for you to decide which trends should be monitored on a regular ongoing basis and how best to incorporate this information into your strategic planning. And who is going to be responsible for keeping the PESTLE Analysis up to date?

The results of your PESTLE Analysis should feed into a SWOT Analysis as it helps to determine the threats and opportunities represented by macro-environment forces that the organisation usually cannot control.

“Would you like to know more?”

If you’d like to talk to me about PESTLE Analysis, coaching for you and your business or need someone to ask those bloody difficult questions then do get in touch. Call me on 01280 700405 or click here to send over an email enquiry and let’s see how I can help you.

Until next time …

KATH BONNER-DUNHAM

 

PS:

If you’re looking for a partner to help grow your business, visit www.4pbusinessdevelopment.co.uk to discover how 4P Business Development can help you!

And eliminate time wasting activities …

If you’re finding you’re swamped in your business, you can regain control of your valuable time by eliminating the things that get in the way of your productivity and profitability …

To become more productive, you need to eliminate time wasting activities!

copyright: 4p business development

Are you the business owner that is continuously in crisis mode? Do you spend much of you time firefighting? Are you juggling all the balls in the air and find it difficult to delegate? Do you check your email so often that it’s preventing you from getting any actual work done?

Then you’re confusing the urgent with the important. Continue in this mode, and you will ultimately drain all of your energy and leave you with little to show for it at the end.

Nearly every business person experiences distractions and interruptions that get in the way of your work. You don’t have to suffer from the loss of focus anymore. Now is the time to use a model to prioritise your to-do list.

 

“What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important!”

 

As a business owner, it is paramount that you understand the difference between what is important to you and your business and what is urgent.

Take that to-do list and use the model below to evaluate what exactly you should be doing now, and perhaps more importantly, what you should be delegating and what you should be avoiding entirely.

  1. DO/PRESERVE

    Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately)

    • Crisis

    • Pressing issues

    • Deadline driven

    • Projects

    • Meetings

    • Preparations

  2. DECIDE/ACHIEVE

    Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule for later)

    • Preparation

    • Prevention

    • Values clarification

    • Planning

    • Relationship building

    • Empowerment

  3. DELEGATE/AVOID

    Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to others)

    • Interruptions

    • Some phone calls

    • Some mail

    • Popular activities

    • Un-pressing matters

  4. DELETE/ELIMINATE

    Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate)

    • Trivia, busy work

    • Some phone calls

    • Time wasters

    • ‘Escape’ Activities

    • Irrelevant mail

As a business owner, you should only be working on the important issues and matters within your business. How many of you are in the 4th list dealing with trivial and irrelevant matters?

 

“The next issue you may encounter is how to make important tasks urgent!”

 

The easiest way to make sure an important task urgent is to give it a deadline. So the first thing that you have to do if you want to make sure important tasks get done is to set deadlines.

So very often, a really important task is more like a project inasmuch as it’s huge and needs a tremendous amount of work. In order for you to set deadlines, you first have to break it down into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each of those.

When I listen to business owners telling me that they can do the job better themselves so they will not delegate, I realise immediately that they need my help!

In order to work on the business and to make it a success, you need to take a step back. It is paramount that all the tasks in the Low/Important boxes are delegated. Next, you need someone to delegate all the less important task to, and remember, you must keep those people accountable.

When it comes to holding other members of your team accountable to deadlines, it’s important to make people realise how important these deadlines are to you. You can’t tolerate missed deadlines. And that means actually checking in and having uncomfortable conversations when deadlines are missed.

If you don’t do this, then people will understandably assume that deadlines aren’t that important to you, and they’ll start getting pushed back or missed more and more often.

 

“Will this help you to achieve your goals and aspirations?”

 

One final note: it can be hard to eliminate time wasting activities if you aren’t sure what you are working toward. In my experience, there are two questions that can help clarify the entire process behind the Eisenhower Method:

  • What am I working toward?

  • What are the core values that drive my life?

Take control, be more productive and eliminate time wasting activities by using the Eisenhower Box and/or the Important vs Urgent model. these simple decision matrices will help you take action, organise tasks, and get more done.

The great thing about them is that they can be used for broad productivity plans such as, “How should I spend my time each week?” and for smaller, daily plans, “What should I do today?”

 

“Would you like to know more?”

 

If you’d like some help eliminating time wasting activities which, in turn, makes you more productive, give me a call on 01280 700405 or click here to send me an email enquiry and I’ll ask you some bloody difficult questions about what’s holding you back.

Until next time …

KATH BONNER-DUNHAM

PS:

If you’re looking for a partner to help grow your business, visit www.4pbusinessdevelopment.co.uk to discover how 4P Business Development can help you!

What our clients say

“Kath listened to my situation and gave me some surprising suggestions. Although I was well qualified, with an MSc and an MBA, Kath pointed out that my sales and marketing knowledge was practically non-existent. Kath is exactly the kind of Business Mentor I needed – straight talking and not afraid to tell uncomfortable truths. It is precisely this style that produces the brilliant results Kath gets for her clients. In summary, if you want results, not platitudes, go to Kath.”

Sue Priest
Ems2

2017-07-20T14:00:58+00:00

Sue Priest
Ems2

“Kath listened to my situation and gave me some surprising suggestions. Although I was well qualified, with an MSc and an MBA, Kath pointed out that my sales and marketing knowledge was practically non-existent. Kath is exactly the kind of Business Mentor I needed – straight talking and not afraid to tell uncomfortable truths. It is precisely this style that produces the brilliant results Kath gets for her clients. In summary, if you want results, not platitudes, go to Kath.”
“Kath is a very personal Business Mentor who has provided us with valuable information and contacts. Kath is very reliable and always ready to answer any questions we may have for her. She has a wealth of knowledge regarding marketing and business development idea’s and has really pushed our company in the right direction. Her enthusiasm and drive is really inspiring and she has played an important role in helping our venture become a reality.”

Bryony Brice
Betty Brice

2017-07-20T13:54:59+00:00

Bryony Brice
Betty Brice

“Kath is a very personal Business Mentor who has provided us with valuable information and contacts. Kath is very reliable and always ready to answer any questions we may have for her. She has a wealth of knowledge regarding marketing and business development idea’s and has really pushed our company in the right direction. Her enthusiasm and drive is really inspiring and she has played an important role in helping our venture become a reality.”
“Kath has very good work ethics, she delivers a high standard of coaching and has mentored my staff and I on a specific project with great results.”

Sali Brown
Chelton Brown

2017-07-20T14:02:49+00:00

Sali Brown
Chelton Brown

“Kath has very good work ethics, she delivers a high standard of coaching and has mentored my staff and I on a specific project with great results.”
"Marshes know, like and trust Kath and have benefited immensely from her wisdom, experience, and encouragement. If you're looking for a professional, personal and honest intervention that will help kick your business into its next vital stage of development then arrange to meet with Kath."

Phil Cockayne & Danny Jones
Marshes

2017-07-16T23:51:54+00:00

Phil Cockayne & Danny Jones
Marshes

"Marshes know, like and trust Kath and have benefited immensely from her wisdom, experience, and encouragement. If you're looking for a professional, personal and honest intervention that will help kick your business into its next vital stage of development then arrange to meet with Kath."
"Kath Bonner-Dunham gets results. She has the powerful ability to cut through the distraction, noise, and chaos that beset so many business owners today. Her refreshingly clear communication and straight-to-the-heart approach are a gift to her clients."

Michael C. Cody
My Coaches Coach

2017-07-16T23:19:04+00:00

Michael C. Cody
My Coaches Coach

"Kath Bonner-Dunham gets results. She has the powerful ability to cut through the distraction, noise, and chaos that beset so many business owners today. Her refreshingly clear communication and straight-to-the-heart approach are a gift to her clients."
“Kath gave us just the encouragement we needed when we started out in business and then continued to be on hand when we needed further advice. Kath understands the needs of small businesses and has a huge network of very useful contacts. She is a firm, no nonsense person and we have great confidence in the excellent service she provides.”

Jeremy Sacha
Sacha Barnes

2017-07-20T14:05:25+00:00

Jeremy Sacha
Sacha Barnes

“Kath gave us just the encouragement we needed when we started out in business and then continued to be on hand when we needed further advice. Kath understands the needs of small businesses and has a huge network of very useful contacts. She is a firm, no nonsense person and we have great confidence in the excellent service she provides.”
“Kath is an inspiring Business Mentor. Selection Matters has been using Kath on ongoing basis for more than two years and she has added real value to our business. She is full of ideas and an expert in her field. I would highly recommend Kath to any business owner who wants to accelerate the growth of their business!”

Izabela Cooper
Selection Matters

2017-07-20T13:56:45+00:00

Izabela Cooper
Selection Matters

“Kath is an inspiring Business Mentor. Selection Matters has been using Kath on ongoing basis for more than two years and she has added real value to our business. She is full of ideas and an expert in her field. I would highly recommend Kath to any business owner who wants to accelerate the growth of their business!”
“Kath is an amazing woman. Kath can get to the root cause of the ‘blockage’ which is mostly in us. If you thought you were good, you will be 10 times better after meeting Kath.”

Dan Kaye
Smith Kennedy Ltd

2017-07-20T14:04:40+00:00

Dan Kaye
Smith Kennedy Ltd

“Kath is an amazing woman. Kath can get to the root cause of the ‘blockage’ which is mostly in us. If you thought you were good, you will be 10 times better after meeting Kath.”
“Kath is a skilled and experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Adviser who will always go the extra mile to bring value to her clients.”

Charles Briggs
CMC Partnership

2017-07-20T14:07:00+00:00

Charles Briggs
CMC Partnership

“Kath is a skilled and experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Adviser who will always go the extra mile to bring value to her clients.”
“Kath’s support has meant we have many more business ideas and avenues to explore and her input has been motivational, relevant and very insightful. For anyone looking for some sound business advice, I would recommend Kath very highly indeed.”

Duncan Cooper
Selection Matters

2017-07-20T13:49:43+00:00

Duncan Cooper
Selection Matters

“Kath’s support has meant we have many more business ideas and avenues to explore and her input has been motivational, relevant and very insightful. For anyone looking for some sound business advice, I would recommend Kath very highly indeed.”
“I cannot recommend Kath highly enough. I hired Kath to work with us as a business mentor last year and in addition has subsequently been working with our management team and staff on a monthly basis. Kath is an excellent mentor, has great rapport with all our staff who have responded to her advice and mentoring in a very productive and positive way. I am sure that we will continue to use her invaluable services for many years to come.”

Jo Robinson
Indulgence Bespoke Catering

2017-07-20T13:51:44+00:00

Jo Robinson
Indulgence Bespoke Catering

“I cannot recommend Kath highly enough. I hired Kath to work with us as a business mentor last year and in addition has subsequently been working with our management team and staff on a monthly basis. Kath is an excellent mentor, has great rapport with all our staff who have responded to her advice and mentoring in a very productive and positive way. I am sure that we will continue to use her invaluable services for many years to come.”
“Kath is a highly committed and energetic Business Mentor with a strong focus on providing a high quality client service. Armed with a wide ranging support and resources she is well placed to support the needs of SME’s.”

Bernard Goodchild

2017-07-16T23:32:41+00:00

Bernard Goodchild

“Kath is a highly committed and energetic Business Mentor with a strong focus on providing a high quality client service. Armed with a wide ranging support and resources she is well placed to support the needs of SME’s.”
“Kath is a superb Business Mentor. She asks perceptive questions that enable her to gain a rapid grasp of the key issues in a business so that she can provide exactly the right resources to support the business in the way that is right for them.”

Elaine Whittaker
Marketing Being

2017-07-20T14:03:52+00:00

Elaine Whittaker
Marketing Being

“Kath is a superb Business Mentor. She asks perceptive questions that enable her to gain a rapid grasp of the key issues in a business so that she can provide exactly the right resources to support the business in the way that is right for them.”
“Kath Bonner-Dunham is the ultimate networker – always on the look-out for how she can help the people with whom she comes into contact. Her entire focus is to help others find the solutions which work for them, and she will go well out of her way to find them the right support. People are drawn to Kath’s commitment, energy and integrity, and I am delighted to recommend her and the services she provides.”

Kate Mercer
Shine Consulting

2017-07-20T13:59:01+00:00

Kate Mercer
Shine Consulting

“Kath Bonner-Dunham is the ultimate networker – always on the look-out for how she can help the people with whom she comes into contact. Her entire focus is to help others find the solutions which work for them, and she will go well out of her way to find them the right support. People are drawn to Kath’s commitment, energy and integrity, and I am delighted to recommend her and the services she provides.”
“Kath is just a person you need to know! She can help you on many levels and she helped me as a Mentor and the results were fabulous!”

Raine Hilson
Banbury-Cross.co.uk

2017-07-16T23:48:54+00:00

Raine Hilson
Banbury-Cross.co.uk

“Kath is just a person you need to know! She can help you on many levels and she helped me as a Mentor and the results were fabulous!”
“Kath is a dynamic, inventive and challenging business coach able to adapt her style to suit her client’s needs and their preferred way of working. With Kath’s help I was able to push aside limiting beliefs that were holding me back and form a clearer vision of what I want for my business and myself. I now have a game plan in place and am working steadily to put it into place.”

Lesley Long
Women Go Wild Outdoors

2017-07-16T23:50:27+00:00

Lesley Long
Women Go Wild Outdoors

“Kath is a dynamic, inventive and challenging business coach able to adapt her style to suit her client’s needs and their preferred way of working. With Kath’s help I was able to push aside limiting beliefs that were holding me back and form a clearer vision of what I want for my business and myself. I now have a game plan in place and am working steadily to put it into place.”
“Kath takes an interest in your business, and is excellent at identifying key areas for development. She’s wonderfully positive, full of enthusiasm and good ideas, and has a huge network of contacts that she shares to create positive outcomes for all involved. I would thoroughly recommend Kath to anyone wanting to develop or grow their business who needs a solid sounding board and progress monitor.”

Sophie Breslin
Athensis

2017-07-20T14:01:55+00:00

Sophie Breslin
Athensis

“Kath takes an interest in your business, and is excellent at identifying key areas for development. She’s wonderfully positive, full of enthusiasm and good ideas, and has a huge network of contacts that she shares to create positive outcomes for all involved. I would thoroughly recommend Kath to anyone wanting to develop or grow their business who needs a solid sounding board and progress monitor.”
“Kath worked with me over a period of time as a Coach to help me get my business back on track after I had decided to part company with my Business Partner. Kath was very good at helping me to see the way forward myself and to understand what I had to do and why. Anyone wishing to build a successful business would find Kath’s help and skills a golden opportunity to help them succeed. She is highly recommended.”

Rona Cant
Explorer, Author & International Speaker

2017-07-20T13:57:41+00:00

Rona Cant
Explorer, Author & International Speaker

“Kath worked with me over a period of time as a Coach to help me get my business back on track after I had decided to part company with my Business Partner. Kath was very good at helping me to see the way forward myself and to understand what I had to do and why. Anyone wishing to build a successful business would find Kath’s help and skills a golden opportunity to help them succeed. She is highly recommended.”
“In few words Kath is a highly motivated, professional and results driven mentor with great experience and know how. A must for all business people in need of mentoring/coaching to get the best out of you. I recommend her enthusiasm and warmth to anyone looking to improve their management skills.”

Alan Cooper
Westmoreland Mechanical Testing and Research Ltd

2017-07-20T13:55:59+00:00

Alan Cooper
Westmoreland Mechanical Testing and Research Ltd

“In few words Kath is a highly motivated, professional and results driven mentor with great experience and know how. A must for all business people in need of mentoring/coaching to get the best out of you. I recommend her enthusiasm and warmth to anyone looking to improve their management skills.”

Are you a business owner with a passion and desire to grow your business?

To discuss your specific requirements and to arrange a diagnostic meeting, contact us today.