The leaves have started to change. The light gets dimmer each day. It’s all a dance that we are a part of each year. And this part of the dance pulls us inside to take a deep look, a reflection, at our businesses.
We go inside to see how far we’ve come. To see how far we can go with the time remaining in the year.
Side note: as of the penning of this, we only have 7 more viable weeks left of 2017 since the last two weeks of December are not usually work weeks.
This is the second week of November, so it’s time to take a sweeping glance backward, then set a piercing gaze forward.
What you’re going to learn is one step of the process you need to apply to every single aspect of your business, daily to yearly.
It’s called SWOT. (SWAT’s less sexy, less appealing counterpart.)
SWOT is the first step in the Map, Execute, Revisit process that helps you hone in on what you did wrong, so you can make the next approach right. It can be applied to your daily activities, your projects, your year (as a whole).
Strengths: What went right? What can you repeat next year to create the same success?
Weaknesses: What didn’t go so right (that YOU saw)? These are things your customers didn’t see go awry. As far as they are concerned, nothing bad happened and all is right with your world. But you don’t want it to happen again.
Where can you make corrections so that those weaknesses don’t make another appearance next year? For example, how did your launch not fluff out to be what you’d hoped it was?
Opportunities: What opportunities or possibilities presented themselves that you didn’t foresee? How can you take advantage of them next time?
Threats: Oh BOY did that get effed up! And yep! Everybody saw it, including your customers. And now your reputation is on the line (i.e. people are saying that you didn’t deliver what you said you would :/ )
Let me start by saying I sincerely hope that nothing like that happened. But, if it did, this is your chance to take a step toward correcting it.
Planning For Next Time
Your SWOT analysis is the first step. Now comes the work of being and doing better next time.
For each section: S-W-O and T, do the following with your team:
- Decide on a solution whether it’s a fix or a new action.
- Own it or delegate it to the team member whose responsibility covers that issue.
- Ask what Support is needed to accomplish their tasks and give it.
- Create ongoing communication process of all milestones.
A checks and balances system that no business can afford to be without.
This is how milestones are met instead of repeating things that don’t work.
Now you are armed with a system that lets you recalibrate before you get too far off course. In other words, it’s a great pre-plan of attack for any project or milestone, as well.
Now you’re set to strategically plan the first two quarters of next year so that success isn’t something you just “hope” you’ll achieve. We’re going to cover that in-depth next week.
Until then…stay passionate!