Posts Tagged ‘swot’

4 Mistakes Business Owners Make

May 31, 2014

good-choices-bad-choicesLet’s get to some core issues that stunt professional development and growth!

Over the holidays, I encountered four (4) people that said things that disturbed and concerned me.  I want to share them because we can all learn from these.  Here are four (4) mistakes that business owners make:

1.       Reluctance to look in the mirror and Self SWOT

In November, I gave a lecture to a group of business women in Macon, Georgia and shared it online in about 50 Facebook and Linkedin groups I belong to.  The emphasis was on planning for 2014 by doing three (3) things: (1) self SWOT, (2) SWOT of your business, and (3) planning sales activities.  A SWOT is simply an assessment of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  You plan activities that increase strengths and opportunities; and decrease weaknesses and threats.

Several ladies shared with me in December that they conducted their Self SWOT.  They were excited about it and said that taking the time to reflect and write things down was very revealing, somewhat uncomfortable, but good for them overall.  But, one lady contacted me and said she was going to share the worksheet with her clients.  She said she was lucky and was very successful; and had been assessed to death.  She did not see a need to do a self analysis.  She implied that she did not need to self SWOT.

Well, the fact is we all need to take a look in the mirror.  The key word that stood out with this lady was “luck”.  Perhaps her success was merely by way of luck.  This type of success is fleeting.  Business owners should make improvements in the way they think and operate so that business growth and success is sustainable.

One lady said that she had been in business for a long time since the early 80s.  Her tone implied that she did not need to plan or self SWOT because she had it all figured out.  Perhaps she felt she had arrived.  Well, again, that’s the wrong attitude.  No matter how successful you are, planning and assessments can help you grow and be even more successful!  Even Richard Branson believes in business strategy and planning.  He believes in having detailed and realistic legal, financial and operational plans.  The SWOT is not lengthy or formalistic.  A lot of folks are reluctant to take that closer look because it might be uncomfortable or painful.  But, it could help them grow their business and grow as a professional.

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By Clovia Hamilton, MBA JD President of Lemongrass Consulting Inc.

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New Years Resolutions – How to Self SWOT

November 7, 2010

New Years Resolutions are due in less than two (2) months.  The strategic planner in me urges you to conduct a quick Self SWOT to list your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  The key is to be honest.  I cannot tell you how many small business owners and other professionals that remain in denial for years.  It is painful to list your weaknesses and there may be even more pain to actually do something about it.

My Self SWOT revealed the following:

Strengths:

*I write well;

*I enjoy coaching and mentoring others;

*I am very organized; and

*I am very productive.

Weaknesses:

*I have a youthful voice;

*I have debt due to the down economy;

*I have low income due to the down economy;

*I need assistants to help with sales; and

*I need to lose weight.

Opportunities

*I can hire a speech therapist;

*I can pay creditors via a debt management plan;

*I can improve sales and increase income;

*I can hire student assistants and volunteer interns;

*I can exercise and eat right.

Threats

*I am my only threat!

The real threat is how we may get in our own way.

Once you have completed your Self SWOT list, the results can become your New Years Resolutions for 2011.  Take your list of Weaknesses and resolve to do something about them to convert them into Strengths.  Plan implementation is crucial to achieving success.  Commit to viewing your Opportunities as means to convert each Weakness into Strengths.  The key is to approach this exercise with zeal, discipline and commitment.

Clovia founded Lemongrass Consulting in 2005 with 25 years of government work experience and serves as a procurement counselor in the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC). Lemongrass Consulting provides strategic planning solutions including government contracting strategic marketing plans. Visit us at: http://www.lemongrassplanning.com – Follow Clovia on Twitter @lemongrassplans and LIKE Lemongrass on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/6cuu28o