Every now and then, it is good to reflect upon the goals you set forth for your business. This should be relatively easy because the main goal (your version of success) should always be right in the forefront of your mind. Even in all the daily activity that goes into building and maintaining the growth of a business, the vision is at the very core of all that you do.
To go hand in hand with this reflection is a thorough analysis of how the internal workings of your business – your staff, your vendors, your product or service – are measuring up to the tasks that will get you where you want to be. This can be one of the most important jobs a business owner can take on periodically, especially in times when the economy is affecting most businesses.
Looking at the specific strengths and weaknesses of your business will give you a clear picture of where you need to make changes in order to achieve optimal growth and will also show you where opportunity lies. For instance, new trends in the marketplace may pose somewhat of a threat if your business is not utilizing powerful tools that are out there; but by recognizing these new tools, you can evaluate their performance and put them to use once you have proven they are effective.
Here’s what you’ve got to remember: be completely honest in your evaluation of each member of your staff and each vendor you work with, as well as the value of your product or service. Without complete honesty, this is simply a work of fiction and a waste of time. It’s never easy admitting to shortcomings of your own, let alone pointing out the shortcomings of your customer service staff or your managers. Difficult as it may be, it must be done. This is your business – your dreams – at stake.
When listing strengths of your business, you need to be somewhat stingy. This means that the strengths you list need to be above and beyond what your competitors offer. If others’ shipping times are the same as yours, then you could not list that as a strength. But if you offer some sort of a guarantee that they do not, this could be a strength.
When considering weaknesses, you’ve got to go through your entire organization; from individual team members to tools of the trade to your actual product or service. Are you offering what people want? Is your customer service filling orders in a timely manner and always professional on the phone? Is there specific expertise that is missing from your organization? Are all of your suppliers working well to fill the orders you provide?
As you know, the name of the game is opportunity. And for those who are truly motivated, opportunity is found everywhere. This means that you can find opportunity even in your weaknesses. For instance, the supplier who is not working out so well will lead you to search for a new supplier. Doing this just may land you into the position of getting better deals on products and increasing revenue, not to mention happy customers who get their products on time!
Analysis is a must for anyone serious about reaching their goals in business and in life. While it may be a somewhat painful process, no pain no gain!