Bridging the gap: The art of gap analysis in business

Bridging the gap: The art of gap analysis in business

Have you ever found yourself wondering if there’s more you could be achieving with your business? Perhaps you’ve sensed that despite all the hard graft, there’s something amiss or a potential not fully realised. Enter stage left: gap analysis.


What Exactly is Gap Analysis?


Gap analysis is a strategic tool used by businesses to identify the differences between the current state and a desired future state. By pinpointing these discrepancies, organisations can formulate strategies to bridge the gap, ensuring alignment with their goals and optimising performance.


Consider it your business satnav. You have your starting point and your destination; the ‘gap’ represents the journey you need to take.


Why Bother with Gap Analysis?


Engaging in gap analysis is imperative for organisations as it offers clarity on their current position relative to desired objectives. It provides actionable insights to guide strategic planning, ensuring resources are efficiently allocated towards achieving optimal performance.


The Pillars of Effective Gap Analysis


Assess the Present – Where Do You Stand?
Start with a candid assessment of your current situation. Delve into the products or services you provide, your target audience, and crucially, the perception stakeholders hold. Those customer feedback forms? Far from mere paperwork, they’re invaluable insights.


Envision the Future – What’s the Goal?
This is where ambition takes the front seat. What is your company’s aspiration? Clarity is paramount here. Instead of a broad “We aim to lead the market,” hone in on specifics such as, “We aim to secure 30% of the market share within the next two years.”


Identify the Discrepancies
Position your present state alongside your future aspirations. This will highlight potential gaps, be it in resources, training, or infrastructure.


Strategise Solutions
Got the gaps? Now, brainstorm remedies. Solutions might range from bolstering your workforce, ramping up training, or embracing cutting-edge technology.


Action the Strategies
With solutions at the ready, it’s time for execution. But tread carefully. Change can be tumultuous, and it’s imperative to consider its ripple effect across your organisation.


Monitor and Adapt
The business landscape is ever-evolving. Thus, continuous evaluation of your strategies is essential. Check if they’re driving you closer to your objectives and tweak as and when necessary.


Digging Deeper: Types of Gap Analysis


Market Gap Analysis: Here’s where you uncover unmet consumer needs in the market. Spotting a demand that’s not catered to? That’s a golden opportunity.

Strategic Gap Analysis: Think of this as your organisation’s performance evaluation. How have you stacked up against strategic targets or competitors?

Financial Gap Analysis: As straightforward as it sounds. Examine financial metrics and see how they fare against industry standards.

Operational Gap Analysis: A deep dive into process efficiency. Does each process contribute value?


In Conclusion


Gap analysis isn’t mere corporate jargon. It’s a tangible tool that, when employed judiciously, can steer your business towards sustained success and innovation. Whenever there’s a feeling of a misstep or an unrealised potential in your business manoeuvre, remember to bridge that divide!


And if you’re seeking partners on this journey of strategic optimisation, Sowerby are ready to assist, bringing decades of expertise and a commitment to fostering business excellence.



Published by Sowerby Chartered Accountants, November 2023