What is a defined gap?
So far in this book, you have had a chance to think about where you are now with your business and where you want to be in the future. Unless you are living your vision right now there will be a gap between these two points – present and desired. You need to be clear about exactly what is missing. Creating a deﬁned gap is about getting very speciﬁc about the elements of your business that you need to focus on in order to close the gap and achieve your ultimate goals. The gap between the present and desired position will diﬀer from business to business.
Here are some examples of the general gaps you might ﬁnd yourself deﬁning.
- -Personal activities (time and focus).
- -Quality of products and services.
- -The number of outlets.
- -Market area.
- -Target customers.
- -Numbers of customers.
- -Systems and procedures.
- -Marketing activities.
- -Staﬀ team.
Why is it important to define the gaps?
Deﬁning the gaps speciﬁcally is important because it will focus your attention on what needs work. Once you have clearly deﬁned the gaps then they can be used to set appropriate goals and objectives with a plan to achieve them. Without deﬁning the gaps, it could be very easy to slip into the grass-hopper approach to business and marketing planning, jumping from one thing to the next or allowing yourself to get distracted.
Your challenge is to take the time to do this. To focus on what needs your attention. Be honest with yourself. This will pay dividends in the longer term.
At this stage, you do not have to have the solution. That comes later. All you need to do is be very clear about what needs your attention. It may be that you don’t know what needs work or needs to be implemented to get you from where you are to where you want to be. If that is the case you could come back to this chapter once you have got to the end of this book. It would be useful to keep a notebook to hand and write down gaps as you come across them.
GETTING TO THE GAP - SPECIAL RESPONSE CHECKLIST
- -In front of you have your notes from where you are now along with your ultimate business vision.
- -Make a note of some of the problems you perceive you have now that may prevent you from reaching your vision. These problem areas will indicate gaps.
- -Make a note of all the areas of your business where you see a clear gap.
- -For each of those areas write down what the gap is.
How to use this information
This information can be used in a number of ways. Firstly, the gaps you establish will highlight the information you need to gather, the processes you need to implement, the changes you need to make and the goals you need to set. Secondly, it will give your thinking some structure, and focus your attention on the important issues to consider when business planning. Thirdly they will remind you of what is vital if you are to achieve your vision. Talking about it is not enough to make it happen – it needs action focused on the most important areas.
“Think gap and make the right things happen”