December 1, 2015

When Planning For Next Year Don’t Overlook Your Weaknesses

SWOT analysis, strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat wordsOver the long weekend I spent a little bit of time working on my 2016 strategic plan.  First step, as always, was to determine what my business goals were going to be for the new year.   It’s always fun to contemplate the ‘shiny’ goals – things like new products you’re really excited about launching and how that may increase your revenue as an example.  But, as I was in the midst of cleaning up my office, I also happened to have my SWOT analysis from 2015 near me at the time and I caught glimpse at some of the weaknesses I’d outlined a year ago.   That made me wonder, what had I done to address those?Turns out, not much.  It’s easy to understand why when you think about it.   The weaknesses in your business are usually the things that aren’t your strengths and it’s much more fun to focus your time and energy on those aspects of your business you enjoy doing.  That’s part of why you became an entrepreneur, right?

But those weaknesses, while decidedly less ‘shiny’ and exciting, could actually be what really has measurable impact on your business.  I know that when I took a hard look at mine, though I’m excited about a bunch of projects coming up in 2016, the reality is that dedicating a good amount of time to working on shoring up one or two of my weaknesses will probably prove to be the best use of my time.

I know we’re only in the beginning of December and for some 2016 still seems like a lifetime away, but I’d encourage you to either pull out an old SWOT if you have one or spend a little time thinking through what are some of the weaknesses and limitations in your business.  With those identified, ask yourself what you might be able to do about that in 2016 and what sort of impact do you think that would have on your business.