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New Year, New Prospective

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Jan 21, 2009 @ 05:22 PM

Happy New Year!

Sorry I am a bit late but we have been busy planing great things for the new year for our business and you should be doing that as well.

I know how everyone is down and depressed about how last year went, the economy, a new administration and the uncertainty of what this new year will bring for us all.

So let us make plans on the positive side. How many of you know what a SWOT Analysis is?

Well a SWOT is a very simple but helpful tool for you and your business.
S - Strengths
W - Weaknesses
O - Opportunities
T - Threats

Now that you know what the letters stand for let me explain how to use this to analyze your business or any problem or question you come across during the year in running your business.

SWOT analysis provides insight at a point in time - like a snapshot, of whatever you want to analyze. It could be business as a whole, like whether you should add another rig to your business, or even if you should stay in the business line you are in, say house washing or maybe expand by adding window or deck washing, reduce it by doing gutters only or change all together like going into kitchen exhaust work.

This is how it is done: start by dividing a page into four quadrants with a vertical line and a horizontal line.

The top two analysis quadrants are Strengths and Weaknesses. The bottom two quadrants are Opportunities and Threats. Let us say the Question is "Should I add a new rig this year?"

So then with what ever your question is, start to list the things that belong in each section.

You could list in the Strengths that having another rig could increase the number or kind of jobs you do. So in the Opportunity box you could then figure exactly what that number could be and the income opportunity that would bring. Then in the Weaknesses area you may list the extra personal it may take to run it or the limited use you could get out of it during the year and in the Threats of course would be the cost of the rig, also its cost of operation including the cost of the personal to run it.

This way you can see what this could do for your business or if it would be even a good idea at all. And the question does not have to be a large one. It could be as easy as should I increase or change my cell phone plan minutes or carrier?

Too many times the small business person sees what somewhat else is doing thinks "Hey I can do that", or "That is a great idea" and goes off spending time and money without really taking into consideration all the facts. What may be great for some one else may spell disaster for your business.

Here at Soap Warehouse we have lots of big new plans for you and our business this year, but with each one there are steps we have to take to be sure we are getting the results we want and need from these changes.

I wish all of you a very good new year and I hope all your plans are fruitful.

Tags: Business, business plan, SWOT analysis

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