Going through the exercise of setting goals may seem like a task or even at its worst dudgery. The problem in the past has been that most organizations set goals based on sales for each quarter of the year. This means goals are usually set for financial reasons and the goals are generally for one year at a time. The goals also tend to tied into budgets and quotas. But what happened to setting goals that incorporate the entire business and the direction it is taking?

COMMUNICATIONS – is there an awareness of the flow of information within the organization? Is it easy to communicate across departments? Do customers get instant responses? How can you improve on internal and Scangator external communications?

The only thing worse than not doing any research is not verifying viability. The tools available for entrepreneurs are many and can sometimes feel complex. I meet many people developing their business plan and doing their market research without a clue of how to prepare a viability analysis. I’ve got a very simple system called the Three Tools of ViabilityTM. The tools are available to every business owner or prospective entrepreneur and are fairly simple to use. The tools consist of an income statement projection, a cash flow report and a break-even analysis. That’s it. That’s really all you need to test for financial viability.

Challenge your inner critic (or skeptic) or gremlins, who keep telling you that you cannot, you do not want to, you do not feel like it, you will fail, you are not good enough, etc. Show your mind that you are the boss, not it. This will increase your confidence dramatically, to the point where the little voice in your head will get increasingly quieter and have little effect on you.

As a business consultant I can’t just dump a client’s numbers into a third party program and hand back the standard report. Yes I can and should use all the tools available, however the company is paying for my insights and analysis. You may be able to pull the wool over their eyes in the short-term, however in the long run they will either switch consultants or purchase the tool themselves.

Now that you may be a little more excited about using this updated SWOT Box, follow these nine steps to find some solutions to your situation. Begin by recreating the SWOT Box on a large sheet of paper. Use colors that stimulate you to use your creativity.

By doing a SWOT Analysis periodically, you will be able to continually re-evaluate your progress and re-assess the shifting landscape of your market. It will help you cut through the information overload so that you always have a clear path to follow and defined next steps to take, while keeping your eyes on the prize.