The majority of small businesses fail – that’s the bottom line. That’s why it’s important to always seek ways to improve your business.
Bloomberg says 80%; The Small Business Administration says around 50%; and Neil Patel and Rand Paul say as many as 90% of start-ups fail. Whichever number you believe most, the reaction is the same – OMG!
The numbers need not be that high. But few people have been able to figure it out.
So what did those select few figure out? They figured out that knowledge is the key. You can improve your business – and its chance of success – with knowledge.
In today’s world there is an INFINITE amount of information available in the snap of your fingers, but you need the right information. And you need the knowledge of how to best use that information to reach your goals.
Let me ask you a question: Are you treating your business like a business? Or are there certain areas that you neglect? To really improve your business and it’s chance of success, you need to ask yourself these tough questions.
Maybe you have a phobia of numbers. So you quickly gloss over the financial statements without truly understanding them.
Maybe you are not a people person, so sales might not be your thing.
Or perhaps you just need assistance in turning an idea or a dream into reality?
Whatever it is, realize that even the greatest minds in the world struggle in certain areas. They have certain skills which they like to perform and at which they are proficient. However, they have other tasks that make their skin crawl and that they would rather pass them along for others to handle.
They have strengths and weaknesses, just like everyone else.
In business, there is a term called the S.W.O.T. Analysis. It’s a tool to allow a business to measure itself, so that changes can be made to improve your business and optimize efficiency.
The S in S.W.O.T. stands for Strengths, and the W stands for Weakness. Logically, this part of the analysis measures what your business does well and what it does poorly.
We never want to stray from what is currently working, but by addressing our weaknesses, we can improve our performance. On this subject, Michael Jordan once said,
“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”
In order to turn that weakness into a strength, you have to first have the knowledge necessary to make that change, and the bandwidth to do it right. But by shoring up the holes, you’re chances of sinking greatly diminish.
Whether you have the time and/or the knowledge to address the weaknesses yourself may depend on a number of different factors. The bottom line is that sometimes it is best to delegate responsibilities and tasks to others, but keep in mind that even though someone else might be handling the majority of the work in one area, it is imperative that you stay involved and informed through updates, reports, etc., so that you always have a keen sense of what is going on in the company. It will provide additional clarity and keep your enterprise running tight. After all, the according to Price Paige & Company, small businesses (100 employees or less) were the victim of fraud more often than companies of larger size.
The second piece to the S.W.O.T. Analysis are the external factors of Opportunities and Threats. Where is it that you might be able to find new opportunities to increase your bottom line? And conversely, what are some potential obstacles that you are facing or could face?
Opportunity could arise after finding out that customer loyalty is high in your industry, or perhaps you might be able to take advantage of seasonal demand for your product/service. Threats could potentially come from a influx of competition into your field, a downturn in the economy, or new legislation. Either way, these are external factors and they cannot be controlled; however, you should prepare yourself the unexpected. With the right planning, the right advice, and the right attitude, you can adequately handle anything that comes your way.
In our new course, S.W.O.T. Tested, we will cover an array of topics that many business owners might overlook or not understand, as well as planning the strategies and tactics that will allow for greater profitability, greater clarity, and hopefully, much less stress. Students will learn everything from building a business plan and what needs to be done in the first few days, weeks, and months, all the way to scaling your business as it grows and planning exit strategies.
Susan Sly: Susan Sly is a productivity specialist, work life balance expert, best-selling author, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime Television, The CBN, The Morning Show in Australia and been quoted in Forbes Magazine Online. Susan is the author of 7 books. Her book project with NY Times Best Selling Author, Jack Canfield, made six Amazon Best Selling lists.
She has completed the Boston Marathon 5X and placed Top 10 in the Pro Division of the Ironman Triathlon in Malaysia. Susan is passionate about philanthropy and has dedicated a significant amount of time and money working to liberate girls from trafficking and invest in education to support women and girls who have survived trauma and abuse both domestically and overseas.
Susan is the mother of four children and resides with her husband in Scottsdale, Arizona. Susan truly believes we can have it all.
David Campbell: After years of world-class technology training in the U.S. Navy, David Campbell thought that when he left the service, his experience would lead to a solid career in IT. But after a huge staff reduction at Businessweek.com, where he served as technical services manager, he made the life-changing decision to pursue entrepreneurship.
David founded and serves as the CEO of Tier One Services, a fractional CFO and management consulting firm driven by Campbell’s powerful and empowering dedication to mastering strategies that transform the lives and businesses of entrepreneurs. His purpose and mission is to cultivate sustainable businesses, committed to honoring the dignity of all living things. David dedicates himself to helping his clients implement key strategic actions to take their game to a higher level.
Jaime Campbell: Jaime Campbell, CPA, MBA, CGMA, CTT, MCT is co-owner and CFO of Tier One Services. Jaime uses her accounting and business intelligence skills to move entrepreneurs from possibility to reality. She is an avowed geek and loves to combine her analytical skills with her coaching training to deliver accounting information in such a way that clients see their business future in a whole new light.
Her clients have accelerated their revenues, spotted new opportunities, reduced risks, and raised millions of dollars in capital using Jaime’s models, forecasts, budgets, reports, and advice.
Prior to starting Tier One Services, Jaime has ten years’ experience in a regional CPA firm serving as Director of Specialized Services and was a Business Technology Instructor at Princeton Adult School and an adjunct accounting professor at Kean University.