Business Needs to Improve

The statistics of small business survival still need improvement, with only one in three making it past the 10-year mark (Forbes). Constant improvement is one of the most critical elements of success that will allow your company to be ‘the one.’ Luckily, you can use a few useful tools to understand which parts of your business need improvement first. These range from analytical tools, like 5 Whys, to solutions that gather and process essential data, like customer surveys.

4 Tools to Help You with Business Improvements

1. 5 Whys

5 whys is an analytical tool used for problem-solving. This isn’t a solution but a method that enables you to find the root of the problem. Therefore, it helps you solve the issue on the deepest level, thus preventing future losses.

This analytic technique doesn’t require any specialized software. All you need to do to use it is to develop a line of cause-and-effect questions where every next ‘why?’ is based on the previous one. For example, the first Question is, ‘Why did our sales drop last month?’ our shop had a drop in traffic, and the second is, ‘Why did our shop  drop in traffic?’ The point is to go deeper until you get to the root of the problem through logical conclusions.

To use this analytic tool, you’ll need to understand the business situation well. However, you can also have several people working on the same problem using this method and get different perspectives and more insight.

2. Customer surveys

Surveys are a tool that will allow you to gather data, directly pointing to some areas where your business needs improvements. You’ll need to use specialized software to process this data and use it to develop and correct your business strategy.

You should use different types of surveys to benefit your business more. Start with customer satisfaction surveys, which will allow you to find weaknesses in your customer service. Look at top brands like KFC for inspiration. This company is renowned for the quality of its service. Therefore, you can complete a KFC survey to see what kind of data the company gathers and how it can be used. Your business doesn’t need a huge budget to run a satisfaction survey that will be as efficient as the one from a top brand. The key is choosing the right questions.

Other surveys you can use include asking customers for their wishes regarding new products and services. You should also run studies that allow customers to offer their opinions on their purchases.

3. A/B testing

A/B testing is an analytic tool that allows you to compare the performance of two variants of the same product/service/content/etc. It’s a tool that enables you to gather performance data and determine which option is the best. However, further analyzing the results will allow you to understand the weaknesses and develop future improvements.

There are dozens of A/B testing tools, like A/B Tasty or Apptimize, which are incredibly versatile. Look for a solution that perfectly fits your business’s needs, or have one developed specifically for you.

4. SWOT analysis

Like 5 whys, SWOT analysis is a method rather than a physical analytic tool. However, you can find a variety of templates (Smartsheet) or use a SWOT analysis generator (WikiWealth).

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. In essence, this analytic tool enables you to thoroughly examine external and internal factors affecting your business and identify areas needing improvement. It also helps you prioritize those improvements based on their relevance and expected payoff. Every company can benefit from a thorough professional SWOT analysis.