A SWOT Analysis is Part of the Planning Continuum

illustration, arrows moving in a circle from SWOT to Growth Strategy to Strategic Plan to Implementation and back to SWOTWhen I first implemented a SWOT analysis at Absorption Corp we thought it was a “one and done” tool to focus our thinking on where we were as a company.  It wasn’t until the conversation turned to our long term plan and the big issues each department was wrestling with that we understood that a SWOT analysis is part of circle of assessment, planning, and implementation. Continue reading

A SWOT Analysis Requires More Than One Point of View

Illustration of eyeball looking at managment, employees, customers, vendors and the industry for a SWOT analysisA SWOT Analysis is a snapshot in time.

It may not be the same in six months. It should not be the same in two years- your company, industry and the economy will change over time and effect what is a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity or Threat to your company.

Who should prepare the SWOT analysis for the company?

Management has the responsibility but theirs is not the only perspective, and you could argue that it isn’t the most important assessment of the situation.  The point of view of your staff and of your customers and vendors is critical.  They are at the “point of change” where the SWOT issues are discovered.  Continue reading


business man holding lighbulbRevenue is the lifeblood of any company and the foundation of the annual budgeting process. When sales people are asked to come up with their plans for the year, it should be more than a revenue number they wish, hope and pray to deliver.  It should be a SMART plan that will lay out a clear roadmap to follow.  I learned about SMART work plans when I first started my sales career with Ralston Purina.  I’ve carried the idea of STRATEGIC, MEASURABLE, ACTION oriented, REALISTIC and TIMELY sales plans with me ever since.  Before a sales person turns in their forecast, budget, or plan they need to ask themselves, “Is this plan a SMART one?”.  Continue reading

You don’t sell dollars, why do you build a budget in dollars?

illustrated dollar sign with upward trend line thorugh itIt’s the time of year when companies on a calendar or retail fiscal year are budgeting for the next 12 months.  Many companies I work with think of budgets in terms of dollars because the accounting department, the banks and the shareholders think in terms of dollars.  But that’s not how a manufacturing company should build its budget.

Continue reading