Business Survival Toolkit

Stage One: Where are you now?
This stage encourages you to take a really good look at where your creative business is now.

Planning effectively involves about your strengths and weaknesses. This stage will guide you through self-evaluation and help you to understand and assess your business model. After using these tools, you'll be ready to think about the future.

Stage Two: Where are you going?
This stage is designed to help you consider what your options are for the future.

This is a chance to start thinking about where you want to be in the long term. This stage will offer guidance on how you might respond to future opportunities and manage potential threats. After using these tools, you'll be ready to put together realistic and effective plans.

4. Decision making process
An introduction to the 5 steps of decision making

Six Thinking Hats®: A creative thinking tool to help you make decisions through deliberately taking different perspectives

5. Marketing and communications
A tool for understanding different communication styles

Communication style preferences: A tool to encourage you to think about the approaches you use in communicating your vision

Stage Three: What do you need?
This stage helps you to shape your creative business' next steps.

The tools featured here are focused on planning and mapping out the next stage. They help you to build a thorough, practical business case and to look for fundraising in the right places. After using these tools, you'll have a strategy in place. You'll also know where to start with partnership working, change management and marketing and communications.

1. Strategy and Planning
Tools for understanding where your business is positioned

How resilient is your business? Factors to think about to ensure your business survives

Strategic group mapping: A mechanism for understanding the other players that operate in your field

2. Change management
Tools for understanding change projects

The agreement/certainty matrix: A complexity based tool to support you in assessing your activities and decisions

Change quadrants: Another way of looking at the nature of change and your business culture

3. Marketing and communications
Tools for assessing your markets, products and/or services

Portfolio analysis – where do you make your money? A well-used tool for analyzing your products and/or services

Business growth options –Matrix: to help you consider the markets or sectors you operate in

Customer relationship management – a maturity checklist: A rating tool to help you consider your approach to CRM

Getting social - a social media tool: helps you consider whether it is the right approach for you

4. Creative problem solving
Tools to open up your problem solving approaches

Gordon/Little technique: A problem solving technique that encourages you step right back from the problem

Problem reversal: Take your problem and turn it on its head, see what new insights that gives

Attribute listing: A approach to problem solving where you break it down into its various attributes

Assumption reversal: An approach to turning your problems on their head

Stage Four: How to make it happen
This stage is about putting your plans into action.

By now you will have assessed your business, examined future opportunities, and put an in-depth strategy in place. After all that planning, these tools will help you to make things happen. After using these tools, you'll be running an efficient, focused creative business and be in the best possible place for the future upturn.