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SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) is a widely used element of strategic planning described in greater detail in the companion Quick-Read Solution "Doing a SWOT Analysis for Your Company." In examining the company's position, input should be gathered from all sources, especially front-line employees and customers, both of whom intimately know the company's key strengths and weaknesses.
The process of creating these statements begins with self-analysis by the owner to define his or her vision for the company.
When your company activities are aligned with good mission and vision statements, drafting a long-range plan should just take a few meetings over a few weeks, with time spent between meetings incubating ideas and optimizing phrasing.
"The net profit is better, we enjoy seeing to the details that homeowners expect at that level and few in our area were doing that type of work very well," he explains.
He opened an office and cabinet shop near the section of town where demographics focused this work, and he eliminated all other types of construction to focus marketing efforts in this niche.
Owners of proprietorships normally do most of the plan preparation with the aid of senior staff members.
The long-range plan should provide guidance for all areas of activity in the company: — These should be based on the assessment of existing markets.
Goals may be specific and measurable: to have X% of the Y market by year Z, to have N product lines offered in M markets by year Z.
They may be general and immeasurable: to be recognized as the most customer-service-oriented company in the business.
Once it has been created, the plan should be consulted whenever there are major business decisions — and either followed or adjusted.
Set Goals To identify goals for a long-range plan, answer the following questions: What are our strengths and weaknesses?