As you begin to explore performance measures and enhance your decision making, a SWOT analysis explores your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This is a powerful tool to boost profits to your bottom line.  Your profit and loss statement can be improved by next quarter.

A sample SWOT analysis presented here includes a few possible internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats for your consideration.  Which items are the same for your business and which are completely different?

When you are ready to do your own SWOT analysis to boost your business profits, a sample worksheet for you to complete the analysis of your business can be found at

Candidly assess the internal strengths and weaknesses of your business. Explore the external opportunities and threats to your business. Take your time and get creative with this. It’s not often that you take the time to sit down and think about both the internal elements as well as the external factors facing your business at the same time. Bring both your strategic attention and your operational attention to the table. Use this sample list as an idea generator. It can be quite revealing as well as empowering to put the threats to your business in writing.

Once revealed, these threats are fair game to be conquered in your business strategy, market positioning, cost profile, and every facet of your business decision making. The proactive manager is the informed manager who makes strategic decisions to identify the few areas to focus on first to analyze, collect the data, and take action.  This is the type of leadership it takes to make a more successful business.

Business Owner as Risk Manager

With performance management tools at your disposal, you can identify, evaluate, and face business risks head on. Think of ways in which your SWOT analysis can inform your business strategy and improve your bottom line.  More visibility equals more profits.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 11.11.19 AM

As your business strategy evolves, the next step is to design or redesign business processes that will effectively deliver on that strategy. As the designs are perfected, they move to careful implementation. This is where the rubber meets the road, and it may require that you modify the designs slightly or significantly to get it right. Resist the temptation to cut corners on business process implementation. The last step is to measure for results.

Effective performance measurement is repetitive loop in an environmentally scanning, sensing, breathing business. It reflects a dynamic world in which dynamic businesses claim more than their fair share of profits. Sometimes it is difficult to quantify risks and to estimate potential rewards. You know your business and your markets better than anyone. But when going into uncharted territory look for those in the know such as an industry leader, a mentor, a trusted advisor, or a supplier. Use the available data. Use and test a few performance measures. Roll in the expert opinions. Then use your judgment to decide where you will take action first.

PS: Get my free Special Report: “3 Profit Pitfalls and How To Avoid Them” at

Read more: The Profit: Mr. Cory’s Cookies Creates a Recipe for Success with Help from Marcus Lemonis