Time Out!

April 10, 2013
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“The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” – Albert Einstein

swot-analysisA friend who owns a small local sporting goods store in up-state New York shared with me that Dick’s Sporting Goods was opening a store two blocks away from his this fall.  He will need to make some really significant decisions in the next four months. The first being will be can we remain profitable while competing, and if so, what will be our strategy?

A great tool in business is the SWOT Analysis.  Most people only use it for its surface value. See below under each canopy as we ask beyond the obvious first questions. Each category looks for the depth by asking additional vertical questions.  Notice how each deepening question will force you to think at a different level.

 

Strength

  1. What do we do well?
  2. What unique resources (time, talent, treasure) can we draw on?
  3. What do our customers see as our strengths?
  4. What motivates our markets to buy from us?

Weakness

  1. What could we improve?
  2. Where do we have fewer resources than others?
  3. What are our customers most likely to see as our weakness?

Opportunities

  1. What opportunities are open to us?
  2. What trends could we take advantage of?
  3. How can we turn our strengths into opportunities?
  4. What do we know our market is motivated to buy from us?
  5. What should our offering really be?

Threats

  1. What trends could harm us?
  2. What is our competition doing?
  3. Why are our customers motivated to buy from our competitors?
  4. What threats do our weaknesses expose us to?

Isn’t business fun!  It does not matter the size of your organization or work team. Stopping to ask the difficult questions in order to advance your company’s offering and favorable position in the market is of great value and importance from time to time.  Hey, sometimes it is also of value to have an outside facilitator lead the discussion.  Simply reply to this email or call us; we can help.

Human Relation Principle of the Week:

Talk in terms of what other people are interested in.

–        Dale Carnegie

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