I am a member of a group of clinic owners. We ask questions, share concerns and share solutions. It has been invaluable, especially as we have been dealing with all the changes that COVID has sprung upon us. The importance of this kind of community is a whole article in itself. However, what I wanted to mention today was something the group organizer recently posted. The following quote by J.P. Morgan quickly caught my attention:
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”
Has this quote captured your attention as well? Is there something in your business (or personal life) that you believe should not stay as it is? Is there a process which is not going well, a staff member who continues to struggle and/or some kind of change needing to be made? When decisions are necessary we want to make the wisest ones we can. God gives us lots of direction in His Word on how to make wise decisions. In addition, there are common business principles available that give more objectivity to the decisions we need to make.
A business tool commonly used to analyze what is working well (and what is not) is the SWOT Analysis. It is a very simple, but very powerful, method to determine if you should be doing something differently. It is a way to objectively conclude if you should consider a change of strategy. There are other tools available. However, this is a good example to start with if you presently do not use one in your business.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
The strengths and weaknesses usually refer to things inside your business: what you may have control over and can change. The opportunities and threats usually refer to things outside your business. You will determine what your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are. You will see where it may not be wise to continue to do what you are doing or stay where you are. The next step it so make a plan on how to get to where you should be.
Thankfully, as Christian women, we have the opportunity to blend business principles with biblical principles. The best approach is to prayerfully follow an objective analysis of your business. The SWOT Analysis should not be a “once in a while occurrence” but rather a business task you regularly engage in.
As you objectively work through the SWOT Analysis, prayerfully consider what the Lord is revealing to you. You may have some favorite verses that guide you as you make decisions in your business. Below are some key verses on decision making that you can consider as you take “the first step towards getting somewhere”.
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22) “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)
Are you due for a SWOT Analysis of your business? If so, take some time this week to prayerfully consider this. I would encourage you to involve your staff in this analysis as they likely have other insights and information. Pray throughout the process.
As you objectively use the SWOT Analysis, prayerfully, with thanks, remember that:
You can trust in the Lord and not your own understanding.
You do not need to be anxious.
Having advisors increases your success.
You just need to ask God for wisdom.
As you make plans on what to do the Lord will determine your steps.
It is wise to listen to advice
May God richly bless you this week as you review and analyze your business to determine if there are next steps God wants you to take.
Have a wonderful week!
Bonny, Christian Women at Work