Volume 49, Issue 7 - July 2014

BestPractices

Strengths and Weaknesses
Where Do You Thrive and Where Can You Improve?
by Richard Voreis

The continuing theme of my articles and, hopefully, our discussions, is how to be more successful in challenging times. Many companies don’t know the strengths and weaknesses of their own company. In fact, most of our glass and glazing clients did not have an in-depth knowledge of such. I cannot recall even one client in almost 14 years who had consciously considered their strengths and weaknesses. It’s very important to know both—not just what you consider to be your company’s strengths.

Start Strong
The strengths of your company can distinguish it from your competitors, and can also form the foundation for an effective strategic plan. If you know your company’s strengths then you can promote them to your prospective customers and make a very good first impression.

Ideally, your company strengths should include some or all of the following:
• Employees;
• Reputation;
• Business model;
• Quality products and services;
• Suppliers;
• Websites, etc.

Do you know the strengths of your company? What’s the best way of finding out? Please share your thoughts with me.

On the Weaker Side
To repeat for emphasis, many companies don’t know their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s very important to know both and it’s especially important to know your company’s weaknesses. Every company has weaknesses; no matter how good they think they are in conducting business.

After a candid and in-depth assessment many companies find they have serious weaknesses and, in some cases, have more weaknesses than strengths. When a company has more weaknesses than strengths it’s very concerning; especially, if there are serious weaknesses on the list.

With that said, identifying weaknesses is a big plus. A company cannot address weaknesses unless they are identified.

I often find with our clients that their weaknesses are nothing unusual, nothing surprising, I’ve seen them all before and the solutions are clear. Even companies with a long list of weaknesses can overcome them and often in a relatively short period of time. Do you know the weaknesses of your company? What’s the best way of finding out? Well, the answer to that question is “just ask.”

Now, that’s much easier said than done because, most often, employees will be more direct and candid with a consultant than with company management on issues of major importance. So, to be fully assured of getting valid input, consider using an outside authority to conduct a strategic assessment. This means you will receive insight into problems and opportunities that will not normally arise through your normal communication channels.

"Every company has weaknesses, no matter how good they think are in conducting business."

What Are Your Weaknesses?
It’s so important that I’m asking again, do you accurately and fully know all the weaknesses of your company? If you cannot answer that question with a complete feeling of certainty, then you need to do something about finding out. And, the best time is now so you start overcoming your weaknesses as soon as possible.

Here’s a list of some of the most common weaknesses we’ve found with our glass and glazing subcontractor clients:
• Internal communications;
• Lack of employee accountability;
• Teamwork;
• Management reports;
• Priority planning;
• And, the list goes on and on.

On a related matter, how does your company compare to other companies in your industry?

If you don’t know, you need to find out. I’d like to hear from you on these important initiatives in running a highly successful business. How did you do in answering the questions I asked in this article? Do you have some questions for me? How can we help you?

Richard Voreis is the founder and CEO of Consulting Collaborative in Dallas. His column appears bi-monthly. Email him at rdvoreis@consulting-collaborative.com and read his blog on Wednesdays at http://dollarsandsense.usglassmag.com.


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