A GAP analysis helps to bridge the gap between the current state and the future state in your business. The future state (results) should show a positive change.
Here is what every successful GAP analysis template should have. It’s nothing too complex, and it’ll help your firm go from Point A to Point B (positive change) easier.
Step 1. Detail your current situation and what you want it to become
You have a situation. It’s an aspect of your business that could massively benefit from a change. For example, how about boosting the morale of current sales employees because they’re becoming lethargic and sales are suffering? Or how about reducing shipping costs of online orders?
The great thing about GAP analysis is that it applies to any department. Deciding which one to start with is the difficult part.
It’s important to note exactly what the current situation is but also, what result you want to have. So, say you want to sell a specific number of eBooks products per month. And you’ll increase your profits by X%. You’ll first need to know how many products you’re currently selling. With this information, you’ll see how much work needs to be done to see your result.
So it would look like…
Current: Your number of sales per week is 50 (at $19.95 each). Number of sales per month is 200 ($3,990). Profits, after taxes (~25%), are $2,992.50.
Result wanted: The number of sales increased to 70 per week (at $19.95). Number of sales per month increased to 280 ($5,586). Profits after taxes (~25%) will be $4,189.50. This will be achieved after 6 months.
This would be a 40% increase in profits.
For a goal like this, you’ll have (and need) hard numbers. Your current sales and profits should be available through financial records. And your current marketing methods will also have been recorded.
Some of these methods could include:
- World of mouth/referrals
- Offline marketing (brochures, direct mail, billboards)
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Influencer/Blogger outreach
- Organic traffic via SEO
Which brings us to step two…
Step 2. Create a plan to see the result
You know what current methods contribute to your current situation. Now you have to find a way to either expand upon those resources or create an entirely new plan to see the results.
This could require retouching upon target markets by consulting or creating buyer personas. You could also complete a competitor analysis to see how your competition is targeting prospective customers.
In order to see a 40% increase in profits, like our example suggests, you could use the data collected by competitor analysis. But you could also examine your…
- Sales page
- Promotional strategies
- Product packaging
- Shipping & handling fees
- Marketing outreach
It’s best to be detailed about the strategies you’ll use to take your current state into the future state (the increase of sales). It would look something like this…
Next steps: These are the immediate changes examined to increase product sales by 40% in a span of 6 months.
- Rewrite sales page for stronger conversions
- Use targeted Facebook Ads for 7 days (promotion period)
- Create a contest on Facebook and Instagram (promotion and conversion)
At this stage, doing a cost analysis is important here. It’s best to know how much these “next steps” will cost the company. Will it be profitable? Do you have the funds to allocate to these methods? If not, then it may not be worth the trouble, financially.
But for your GAP analysis template, this is really all there is to it. You write down where you’re currently at, where you want to be, and how you want to get there. GAP analysis, in this form, is a good start. It’s best complemented by:
Next week we’ll dive into Skills GAP analysis and Fit GAP analysis and how both may benefit your business when used actively.
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