Thinking of The Basics

You’ve been given more responsibility and you now realise you need to plan a little more– Trust me, it doesn’t really matter how senior the job is and you don’t have to tell the world about how you reached your decision, but you do need to take this new responsibility seriously and add some structure to the thought process.

One little (lets call it) tool I found useful was the perhaps trite SWOT analysis. Great and practiced managers practice this without thinking, but to explain about SWOT we need to be a bit more structured.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Basically the process is saying to you; take stock of where you are, what are you good at, what are you not so good at and how could you move forward.

For example. If you sold cars and were considering your strengths you may decide that as you sold 4X4 in an area where there were a lot of farmers, that was strength as you understood the region and the challenges farmers faced.

In the same way a weakness might be that you DON’T sell 4X4 in an agricultural region and of course there would be a great opportunity to do so and to introduce a range of off road vehicles and accessories.

A threat on the other hand (yes I’m deliberately simplifying things) would be that a new garage was being opened just down the road from you selling 4×4 and what’s more they clearly had good funding and would challenge your business as you relied upon your traditional customer base.

As I said, I am deliberately simplifying this as SWOT is just a tool, a way of structuring your thought and perhaps giving you a way forward. In summary of the situation I’ve noted above, you may decide to start visiting your customers and prospects alike, after all, you know the area (there’s another strength) and you know who they are. You could ask them what they looked for regards support from a local supplier of 4×4 vehicles and build a stronger relationship with them, effectively making it worth their while to remain loyal.

So, in summary if you’re new to the job or have had a promotion and just feeling it’s time to look a new, just sit down somewhere quiet and undertake a SWOT analysis. It doesn’t have to be written in some great tome, perhaps just jot some notes, but the process will help you move forward.

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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