Mark reminded us that we are constantly putting out fires in our businesses, but that we also need to take time to look at the big picture.
As an example, Blockbuster ignored technological advancements occurring in the video marketplace and ending up filing for bankruptcy protection.
Mark suggested looking internally and externally at your business using a SWOT analysis:
• Strengths: internally, what makes your business strong?
• Weaknesses: internallly, what issues need addressing?
• Opportunities: externally, what is happening in your market and elsewhere that you can use to grow your business?
• Threats: externally, what is happening that could have a negative impact on your business?
With Bob Scomak’s permission, Mark gave an overview of an analysis of Layne’s Cleaners:
• Strengths: Bob’s personality; use by joining a networking group like LeTip to grow business
• Weaknesses: only 2 locations; overcome with pickup & delivery service; some LeTip members have assisted in setting this up for their offices, and Mark suggested members keep an eye out for other such opportunities.
• Opportunities: group/organizational cleaning, e.g., bands, office pickup, chuech and school choirs
• Threats: casual dress trend in business
Mark’s final piece of advice to all of us: take time to work on, not just in, your business!