If you have reviewed the threats and opportunities relating to your business, you will know the lists can be lengthy and contain issues of different scale, timespan and impact. Typically, only a few of these will be really important for your business, so use the following questions to help identify where you should concentrate:
- What are the big changes in the external environment for the next three to five years?
- How will they affect your business?
- Which ones worry you most and which are secondary?
- How certain are you that these changes will happen?
- Are there any show stoppers that could prevent you from trading?
- Which parts of government policy will influence what you do or what you advise upon?
- Where are the greatest opportunities?
- How well placed are you to respond to these changes?
- Are there any actions you need to take now or within six months?
- If the picture is unclear, what is your working assumption?
The answers to these questions should allow you to concentrate on factors that will directly affect your business.
David Shelton is a consultant at Stoke Bishop Associates