We’ve all made resolutions for ourselves and our businesses.  We often forget that a dream without a plan is merely a wish. How disappointed were we when our lofty ideas never came to fruition?

That’s why Resolutions don’t work, there is no plan and we must do the work!  I recently did a presentation about this for my chamber networking group and will share some of the information with you.

When we start businesses, if we are smart, we have some type of plan to include all aspects of the business our goals and projections. How often have you gone back to review any of the strategic direction or anything else. If you are like most, rarely. Successful companies do review and now it’s for you to be reminded  of what you wrote.

Did you do a financial projection? Create a marketing plan? Did you do a SWOT? Do you know how to do one effectively? Have you written SMART goals?

I just asked about  several tools and all should be reviewed every six months or more often, however, the two most important now are the SWOT and the marketing plan.

Let’s start with SWOT which is an  analysis reviewing what you have, what you need, how you can capitalize on either one and what threats  you need to address.

The SWOT is a box with four squares and two sections. The top two squares focus on the internal running of the company and focus on what is specific to you. Under strength you may have expertise, newest technology, strong customer satisfaction, a unique product, solid sales.  Under weaknesses you list the issues that are specific to you poor staffing  high turnover, old equipment, need cash infusion, product not selling, competition is an issue

The bottom 2 squares are external, Opportunities and Threats. You have no control over the threats but must be aware of they impact you. There are 6 threats; political, economic, sociological, technological, environmental and legal. The question is are you prepared for potential events, including Covid? What is your back up plan? How can your strengths be assets and your weaknesses be converted to if not strengths, at least improved? Now for opportunities, this is when you look at your competition and identify ways to differentiate yourself adding value for current and future customers.

This exercise takes time and a lot of thought, mostly brainstorming.with staff, friends, family; people who know you and the business and can help identify trends and new ideas.

As you are doing this it’s time to review the marketing plan. Why do customers come to you? What motivates them? Remember marketing is filling a need or creating a need then filling it. What is your special niche? How do customers know this?  Do you have a consistent brand? What makes you special as in what are the benefits you provide, they need to have, not the nice to have.

Lots of questions and lots to think about and I haven’t mentioned, financial projections, or staffing.

Smart people go to doctors to make sure their bodies  are in proper order and functioning correctly.Doesn’t it make sense to do a business audit to make sure it’s running right.

If you need help contact me harriet@trainingsolutions-hlc.com and for $100 I can get you started and guide you through the tools.

Resolutions are only wishes until you make the plan. Make this your year to achieve your goals.