Best Practices

Making Your Company Work for You: Use Strengths and Weaknesses For Success

By Richard Voreis

Since 2013 when I started writing this column, I’ve talked to readers who’ve expressed their sincere appreciation for the knowledge that’s been shared. I’ve talked to others who, regretfully, missed reading a few. Everyone wants more, so I’m highlighting some of the best of the “Best Practices” in this series of articles.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Recognizing your company’s strengths not only distinguishes your business from your competitors, it can also form the foundation for an effective strategic plan. By knowing your company’s strengths, you can promote them when talking to prospective customers. You can also close the contract based upon those strengths and earn a premium price over competitors.

It’s also important to know your weaknesses. Every company has them—no matter how good they are at business. You can’t address these, though, until they are identified. Here’s a list of common weaknesses:

  • Internal communications;
  • Lack of company goals;
  • Lack of employee accountability;
  • Lack of processes and procedures;
  • Employee recruiting, training and development;
  • Management reports (beyond the profit and loss and the balance sheet); and
  • Strategic planning.

At the end and beginning of each year, my company is especially busy assisting glass and glazing subcontractors with strategic planning. This involves determining where the company wants to go and then how to get there, while taking into consideration strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. That’s called a SWOT analysis.

GATHERING INFORMATION

We begin with a strategic assessment, and interview a representative number of management and staff employees. We get candid input and dis-cover information the employees don’t share with management. This is where the company’s strengths and weaknesses are identified, and is the first part of the SWOT analysis.

The second part is determining the company’s opportunities and threats. Our continuing approach in the strategic planning process includes a team meeting and strategic planning workshop attended by the same management and staff employees interviewed during the strategic assessment phase.

Involving both management and staff creates buy-in and commitment to accomplish the strategic plan, which is theirs, not management’s or one provided by a consultant. We also make sure the process culminates in a one-page priority plan that is employee specific for both management and staff. It holds every-one in the company accountable for the business’s success.

Have you finished your 2019 strategic planning? If not, have you at least begun? If your answer to both of these questions is “no,” how can you be sure your company will be prepared to succeed in what may be a challenging year? If you need assistance, discounted consulting services are available to you as a subscriber to USGlass magazine.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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