Posts Tagged ‘SLOT analysis’

Time to Take HOLD of Your Business Results

To improve business results, many organizations use the SWOT analysis.  For many years I have used a revised SLOT analysis when it comes to ensuring people secure the desired results.

Today, the word disruption is very much in evidence through the business and even personal worlds. The combination of algorithms and technology continue to disrupt how business has been conducted.  Maybe it is time to move forward and look at business results through a different analysis tool.

HOLD – A New Analysis Tool

When people within organizations start engaging in improving business results, the ultimate goal is to take HOLD of the entire organization.  Individuals within the organization must also take HOLD of their own results.

H Health – What is the health of the organization or individual?  This allows the organization as well as the individual to assess beyond the financial records to other critical elements especially attitudes, emotional intelligence and organizational culture. More and more research confirms emotional intelligence and organizational culture have far greater influence than many executives realize.

OOpportunities – Where are the current and future opportunities for sustainable, profitable growth?  With the qualified labor pool continuing to shrink, now is the time to look at opportunities to keep loyal employees and loyal customers.

LLimitations – What limitations are restricting the health and opportunities of the organization or the individual?

D Disruption –  What disruption has happened in the marketplace and its impact on the organization or individual?  Where is there a possibility for more disruption such as artificial intelligence?

Yes the SWOT analysis is a good tool.  The inherent problem is people are conditioned to the tool and in many instances viable data, facts and information are overlooked.

Change in the marketplace continues to happen at what appears to be the speed of light. To stay at least with the flow and hopefully ahead of the flow demands new ways of thinking for those who wish to change and improve their business results.

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Black Friday Should Be a Monthly Business Strategy

So here we are again, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, a day because of a  business strategy to see black ink instead of red ink on the balance sheets for many businesses.  Today retailers, especially the “big box stores,” may finally reach the black because their low ball prices are finally drawing in the buyers.

business-strategyFor small businesses here in the US, Black Friday should be a monthly business strategy where financials are reviewed and strategic questions are asked.  At this time of year, some small business owners are in a panic because they have not been watching their numbers outside of their cash flow. As to business strategy, what’s that and who has time for that?

Once again we return to the four letter dirty words in small business, plan, goal and do it. Yes I know do it is two words, but it is only 4 letters.

As mentioned in previous postings, strategy is a word from the Greek language and means for a general to deceive his enemies. For mid size to small businesses, this means to:

  • Review the landscape
  • Identify the competitors to centers of influence
  • Determine who are the ideal customers
  • Review the marketplace using a SLOT analysis
  • Evaluate market trends, past and present
  • Look to future market trends

From all of this structured and proactive thinking, a business strategy or strategies will emerge and a strategic business plan will also begin to evolve.

business-strategyWhen the planning has crystal clarity, then goals can be developed as a means to execute (do it) the plan.  By reviewing the plan monthly, 12 times a year, the mid size to small businesses will not be suddenly scrambling on Black Friday to make sales goals, profitability, etc.  Another competitive advantage is prices may not have to be lowered to meet financial targets.

Back in the 1990’s, McKinsey in its research discovered a 1% increase in price will yield a 11% increase in profitability when all factors remain constant.  Conversely, a 5% decrease in price results requires an additional 18% in sales to maintain current profitability. Those Black Friday specials are based upon high volume as well as a lot of impulse shopping.

Black Friday is a business strategy that has evolved into a conditioned behavior for buyers.  Why not make Black Friday a conditioned behavior for your small business?


If you are intimidated by the strategic planning process, then consider this eBook, Triage Business Planning – Know Exactly What to Do and When to Do It.

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Discover Your SLOT for Self-Improvement

Many have heard of the SWOT analysis for organizational development or improvement. This is a quadrant where one looks for the:


  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Imagine using this approach for your own self-improvement?

How about taking one step further and really push yourself by changing just one word?

When we swap limitations for weaknesses, we have an entirely new perspective. A limitation can undermine self-improvement because of our own perspective. We do not recognize a limitation in the same manner as a weakness and may unintentionally ignore it. By changing this one word allows us to dig deeper into our own beliefs, experiences and skills.

Intentional self-improvement is not easy.  The SLOT analysis provides much greater clarity as to where you are right now and what is getting in your way to where you want to be.  What I have observed is the lack of clarity probably undermines more forward progress than any other barrier.

If you are looking to establish a personal growth action plan,then before you take that action conduct a SLOT analysis on yourself.  The results just may surprise you.

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SWOT or SLOT in Your Strategic Plan to Increase Sales?

Within the strategic planning process to increase sales, many organizations create their own SWOT analysis either individually or with outside help.  This is a simple assessment to determine the following:


  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Years ago when attending a conference hosted by Resource Associates Corporation I was exposed to the SLOT analysis that being:

  • Strengths
  • Limitations
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

As I listened to the presentation, I realized the word limitations or better yet the concept was a far better for two reasons.

First, many of us are so conditioned to our weaknesses we begin in automatic pilot when we start listing them. We are already constrained by our internal beliefs. The word weaknesses limits our critical thinking capacity.

Second, the word limitations is both broader (30,000 foot viewpoint) and narrower depending upon the discussion. By using this word, we are more engaged with our critical thinking skills and are truly challenging the current status quo.

As one always looking to challenge even my own status quo, over time I realized the Limitations could be replaced with Leadership because leadership is such an integral part of any organization and one of the major reasons for success or failure especially when it comes to increase sales.

From my now 16 plus years of executive coaching and organizational development through talent management, I can say with 100% certainty, over 90% of all organizational challenges can be directly connected to leadership. This makes perfect sense because organizations are comprised of people. People buy from people.

By replacing limitations with leadership, the focus of this analysis is far more in alignment with a business model where people are placed first over revenues, business growth, market share, etc.

If your small business to much larger organization desires to increase sales then return to your strategic plan and do your own SLOT analysis.  Start with the word limitation during the first go around. Then return and replace limitation with leadership.  Again, it may be beneficial to bring in an outside perspective so that you truly discover where your competitive advantage really is and how you can capitalize on that advantage to increase sales.

  • Would you like to increase your business results by 20% in 60 days?
  • Would you like to discover the problems within your sales process?

Then scheduled a no risk 20 minute Business Growth Accelerator Session with Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.759.5601 CST to discover how you can challenge and change your status quo.

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