Business analysis requires consideration for the past, present, and possible future conditions of the company in question. A firm’s past condition provides insights about its actual growth and the challenges it has faced. On the other hand, the present business condition indicates how the company really fares, given current issues in the industry and market. The company’s possible future conditions imply how it aims to improve its performance and achieve long-term success.
Investors must evaluate the interactions between the company and its environment to determine potential profitability. A company that effectively addresses current domestic and international markets must remain effective in the years to come. In this way, investors would benefit from any funds they put in the company.
Different models and theories are used to analyze a company, yielding a variety of information about the business. Commonly, detailed financial analysis is used to assess business conditions and potential. For example, financial statements provide information on such variables as profitability and liquidity. However, there are other approaches, models, and theories to determine business soundness, as follows:
1. Mission and Vision Statements. An analysis of a company’s mission and vision statements shows business focus and direction. The mission statement presents what the company aims to do, while the vision statement shows the target future condition of the business. (Browse Articles: Mission & Vision Statements of Companies)
2. Generic and Intensive Growth Strategies. An analysis of a company’s generic strategy (based on Michael Porter’s model) indicates how the business achieves and maintains competitive advantage. The intensive growth strategies show how the company intends to grow its business. (Browse Articles: Generic & Intensive Growth Strategies of Companies)
3. Organizational Structure. The organizational structure affects business abilities. Analyzing a company’s organizational structure yields information about potential barriers in addressing business issues. Some organizational structures support rapid change, while others ensure business consistency. (Browse Articles: Organizational Structures of Companies)
4. Organizational Culture. An analysis of the organizational culture shows characteristics and potentials of the company’s human resources. Factors like leadership, employee morale and human resource development are under the influence of the company’s organizational culture. (Browse Articles: Organizational Cultures of Companies)
5. SWOT Analysis. A company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) show the issues facing the business. The internal strategic factors (strengths and weaknesses) are issues based on the company’s nature and characteristics. The external strategic factors (opportunities and threats) are based on the market and industry conditions. Thus, the SWOT Analysis provides information about the major challenges that the company must address. (Browse Articles: SWOT Analyses of Companies)
6. Five Forces Analysis (Porter’s Model). The Five Forces Analysis (based on Michael Porter’s model) identifies the external factors based on the company’s industry environment. The analysis provides insights on competition. Investors can also use the Five Forces Analysis to evaluate the soundness of business strategies. (Browse Articles: Five Forces Analyses of Companies)
7. PESTEL/PESTLE Analysis. The PESTEL/PESTLE Analysis model determines the Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Ecological, and Legal external factors that affect business. The analysis indicates the condition of the company’s remote or macro-environment, along with possible issues or effects of such condition on the business. (Browse Articles: PESTEL/PESTLE Analyses of Companies)
8. Marketing Mix (4Ps: Product, Place, Promotion, Price). An analysis of a company’s marketing mix shows how the business implements its marketing plan. Investors can use this type of analysis in determining the suitability of marketing campaigns, business potential for success in certain markets, and the soundness of the company’s marketing strategy. (Browse Articles: Marketing Mix/4Ps of Companies)
9. Stakeholder Analysis (Corporate Social Responsibility). A company’s stakeholders influence the business through various ways. For example, customers directly affect sales revenues, while communities influence corporate image. A stakeholder analysis of the company’s corporate social responsibility programs yields information about such influence and how stakeholders’ interests are addressed. (Browse Articles: Stakeholders and CSR Analyses of Companies)
10. Operations Management. An analysis of a company’s operations management shows how business activities are organized and directed. The firm must carefully address the 10 strategic decision areas of operations management. These decisions pertain to key areas or aspects of the business. Successful operations management leads to optimal productivity and business efficiency. (Browse Articles: Companies’ 10 Strategic Decision Areas of Operations Management)