They always said that the one constant in life is change, but is really does seem as though that has gone to extremes this year and last.
This Summer has been one with a combination of familiar traditions and also changes due to the current state of the world.
I was lucky to enjoy a small amount of travel (not international though) and also to see some longstanding Summer events return, such as Dancing Under the Stars and Rock & Rails in Niwot.
But, we still have to make a lot of changes for health and economic reasons. In our businesses this means we still have to regularly review what we think is the “right” way to do things and how changes might be affecting our customers and our revenue.
This is why I recommend using one oldie-but-goodie tool – and reviewing it often. That tool is the SWOT Analysis. You can scribble it easily on a piece of paper or keep it on your computer – but this tool gives you a 360 perspective that is important to come back to after you’ve been deep in the day-to-day of your business. You simply brainstorm a list of factors under each title – Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
One thing that’s important to be clear on is the difference between Strengths and Opportunities, and Weaknesses and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are internal to the organization (eg product innovation, lack of staffing), and Opportunities and Threats are external (eg. if you are a roofer, new homes being developed nearby; new competitors in your market).
Identifying these clearly gives a chance to look at things from all angles and helps steer your upcoming plan.
So grab a piece of paper and take look at how things look right now, We know there’ll be change so a regular re-steer is a good plan. A SWOT analysis is always part of my work with consulting clients and in my small business program. Simple but always powerful.