Have you ever sat down with a child and imagined what if?   It’s amazing all the fun things you can create.  I remember a science simulation program where the kids could create any animal they wanted but if it had wings it had to be aerodynamically correct. Oops, that would have eliminated bees.  Imagining what if is fun, creative, and can be inspiring so why don’t we do it in business?

Many of you have done a SWOT and you correctly filled in the quadrants listing your strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats.  You may have then displayed it or more likely put it away with the business plan goals and other strategic tools you will look at later.

It is now later!  Get that SWOT out and let’s look at what it can really do and let’s imagine what if.  To make a SWOT truly work you need to look at the strengths and weaknesses that are uniquely, relatively, yours, and then start looking at what if.  Let your imagination and innovative ideas just flow.  Think about any and all of the people or businesses that could use what you offer in the same form as now or if you tweaked it.    Could you make a less expensive version of your product for a different demographic?  What are the trends or changes in your current demographic?  What issues or problems do you see all around you that you might be able to solve?   Today I met Jon Hoffman who invented a car carrier for small dogs so they don’t fall off the seat.  He saw the problem, found the solution, and sells the product.  What is a what if you could solve? Roberta Nadler, www.connectthedotsadvertising.com provides unique promotional items.  Ask her about the product for swimming pools, a classic what if.  Cuvee Wine Experience in Westlake asked what if there was a friendly comfortable place to have a meeting, read a book, or meet new people while exploring wines, and they created it.

Take some time this week with your staff or friends or by yourself even with wine and start asking what if about your business; see where it leads. And enjoy the potentials.