So I often hear my clients say “I want to have the best year ever.” My name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk today about four ways to make your business even stronger.

Begin With The End in Mind

So number one, as the late Dr. Stephen Covey said, “begin with the end in mind.” So start with your vision. Where do we want to go with our business? I always recommend that my clients take time out. Do a strategic planning timeout. Get away from the office with your main team and talk about “where do we want to go with this business?” Craft a really solid vision, mission, and value statement. “What’s really important to us? and “where we want to go and how to get there?” are the beginning points for any successful business.

Conduct a SWOTT Analysis With Your Staff

The second idea is conduct a SWOTT analysis with your staff. So get the team together. This is also a great off-site activity. Get out of the office and go somewhere you can really encourage some more creative thinking and put together a SWOTT analysis. Now what does SWOTT mean? Well it’s just a simple acronym for strengths, (what are all the things we’re really good at, weaknesses, (what do we need to get better at?) opportunities, (where do we see in the marketplace as other areas we can grow into?) threats, (what do we see as pending threats? Maybe technology trends, competitive threats might impact us in the future,) and the fifth letter is another ‘t’ for trends (so what are the big trends that we’re seeing in the marketplace?)

So by pulling all this together, we can create really good strategies about where we want to take the business.

Strategic Planning

The next step is strategic planning. The first thing’s first, what are the most important initiatives that we have to get focused on right now to get moving? And what are the more longer-term things that we need to be focused on? Having the vision, mission, and value statement and having the SWOTT analysis work sets us up to be able to create those strategic priorities. Those main things we need to get done are then further broken down into the strategies that can implement and prioritize so that we’re working on the most important things right now.

Who? What? When?

Now the fourth idea is who’s going to do what by when? Let’s make sure that we have a clear plan of action where the entire team is involved in knowing who’s working on what initiative, when it’s due, what the goals are so that this whole activity is a coordinated effort from the whole company moving towards that vision you’ve established for yourselves.