Posts Tagged ‘SWOT 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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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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How the SWOT Analysis for Increasing Sales Limits Business Growth

Metrics in small business are critical because if you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it. Many executives to even top sales performers frequently employ a SWOT analysis for increasing sales. This assessment looks to the following four areas:swot-analysis-for-increasing-sales

  • What are my strengths or the organizations’ strengths?
  • What are my weaknesses or the organization’s weaknesses?
  • What are my opportunities or the organization’s opportunities?
  • What are the threats to me or to the organization?

Where the SWOT analysis for increasing sales may limit business growth is within the area of weaknesses. Since human beings are negatively conditioned as they know what they do not do well more so than what they do well, this conditioning hampers their ability to see beyond the immediate challenge.

When we exchange the word weaknesses for limitations, we now are exposed to a different perspective.  For a limitation is sometimes far more damaging than a weakness. Also, we may have to actually think a little harder as to what are our own limitations or the limitations of the organizations.

If you are currently using the SWOT analysis for increasing sales and truly wish to push your small business forward as well as yourself, consider replacing SLOT for SWOT and let me know how this works for you.

If you really want to increase sales, then scheduled a no risk 20 minute Business Growth Accelerator Session with Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.759.5601 CST where you will receive:

#1 – Quick assessment of your current sales process

#2 – One business growth strategy to increase results by 20% in 60 days

Consider giving her a call especially if what you have tried has not worked and you are ready to challenge and then change the current status quo.

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Market Deeper Than Wider to Increase Sales

For those who fish, they understand that sometimes it is necessary to fish deeper rather than find a new fishing spot.  In the world of business, this isn’t much different.

Many small business owners, crazy busy sales people and even those C suite executives are so hungry to increase sales they spread their efforts all over the market place (fish all over the lake)  instead of focusing on one or two specific areas (fish in one or two specific areas).  Sales training coaching tip:  For some this is called niche marketing.)

Recently in speaking with a new potential customer, we looked at the opportunities for selling more to existing customers and discovered a potential of $250,000 in new sales opportunities within one established account. The added value was these new sales had greater profitability.

We are now working on establishing a marketing plan of action and a sales action plan to capture these opportunities while providing additional value.  Sales Training Coaching Tip:  Buying rule #3 – People buy on value unique to them – is critical when looking at niche markets.

For those who understand the benefits of strategic planning, researching the marketplace specific to market share, competition, etc. helps to further focus an organization’s presence. This data allows the business to discover their strengths, limitations, opportunities and talents both externally and internally.  Sales Training Coaching Tip: Many firms use a SWOT analysis (which I believe is a reactive tool). I prefer a SLOT analysis which is a proactive tool.

Before you decide to go after another account or industry, assess current clients to determine if you are leaving any opportunities to increase sales on the table or maybe even underneath the table because you did not invest the time to “fish deeper.” Then establish an aligned plan action between your marketing and selling activities to ensure that you continue to respect the 3 buying rules and avoid the 5 sales objections.

Graphic Courtesy of Bing Images

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