There is a perpetual need for businesses always to be in the know. No matter what your market share, a business must stay ahead of the rest. Predicting changes in the market and the overall business environment can seem like an impossible task. Without having foresight, it is unlikely many businesses would be able to survive another financial crisis. There have been a lot of pressures on businesses lately. In addition to numerous problems and setbacks in the economy, many businesses have also fallen foul of bad weather. Surprise flooding, snow and drought have harmed a lot of businesses. Small businesses in particular have suffered hardest because they failed to plan for weather disasters. Larger businesses may have gotten away with it only by the skin of their teeth. Perhaps they were just lucky enough to have a second center of operations to work from. This image from Flickr.com Whatever you have come up against in recent years, there is a chance more problems may be on the way. They may not come from the weather or the collapse of any banking systems. They may already be happening within your business already. Perhaps your staff are unhappy and will fail to be motivated or effective. New ideas and innovations will dry up because staff are leaving you to go to better paying competitors. It could be that your IT systems have fallen so far out of date, you are unable to keep up with the latest technological revolutions. Sometimes you need a fresh look at what is going on inside your firm. You may choose to recruit someone or contract a specialist company. It may be you take a trusted employee and request that they undertake SAS training to become a Business Analysis expert in-house. However, you choose to audit your company, sometimes it is necessary to do so. Missing the warning signs that something is wrong in your business can be catastrophic. Equally, you may be missing all that is right with your business. Failing to reward the staff that have seen you through may cause employees to leave you. If you miss an innovative idea or disregard it, you could be losing out on a huge revenue stream. Taking a good look at your company is key when you are looking to weather the next market storm. To remain competitive, you may feel it to be an essential undertaking. Ongoing education and training are essential if you are to keep your high calibre staff at the top of their game. Keeping them abreast of the latest industry developments requires more than a subscription to a magazine. You can build your company’s reputation on how qualified your staff are. Most importantly, if they can bring that learning into the workplace and apply it to a profit-making product or service, you will more than make your money back. Having your existing workforce working in new and exciting areas is also cheaper than contracting or outsourcing. You can work closely with the people you trust the most.