New Year’s Resolutions are a waste of time…at least for your business.

Some of you know that I’m close to finishing my MBA. Through the experience I have read numerous books and papers on business planning, marketing, budgeting, personnel development, leadership, etc… I realized that my knowledge is great, but useless until I share it with others. And that, beyond keeping you up to date with the lending market, is one of my goals for this next year: Help my business partners better their business through knowledge and partnership.

Resolutions are a waste of time in business. Resolve is the definite decision and determination to do something. While this works for life (i.e. I resolve to eat more green vegetables) it does not work in business. In life we have an abject amount of control over what we on a daily basis. In business we respond to the demands of our market. If I resolve to close 15% more loans this next year that’s great, but what if the market doesn’t want that? How would I still complete my resolve?

Instead our businesses must be goal centered and oriented on objectives which are flexible in an always shifting business environment.

Over the next few days I will be sharing some tools, tips and insight to help you set goals for next year. If you’re already doing this then that is great! But if not, I hope to spur you on to do a little bit more in 2010 that will help you hit some amazing highlights in your business.

We’ll start with the SWOT analysis. Then we’ll go to the goal setting. And finally we’ll end with a market analysis and business directive.

SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (or Trends). I’ve attached a word document that I retrieved from an odd website called (it’s safe I promise). You may already be actively doing SWOT analysis on your business, but if you haven’t yet you need to do this ASAP.

When it comes to your business you must make time to succeed. Every week my goals now include a three hour block to work on my business. This is not time to return emails, calls or research the market. This is my time to analyze what I’m doing, look at my SWOT and bring it up to date and plan for future goals. John C. Maxwell wrote a short book called How Successful People Think and at the beginning of the book he writes that successful people plan to think. They make time to think about what they are doing. If you are merely responding to issues and demands in business then you are riding the waves of the market, but if you’re thinking and planning then you are the Captain of the ship navigating your way through the market.

Take a few moments next week and do the SWOT analysis, or just think about your business as a whole. Do NOT do this on the weekend or at home, you will not be in the right frame of mind to do this correctly. The business will not disappear if you’re unavailable for 2 or 3 hours. You cannot afford the lost opportunity by NOT thinking about your business.

Here’s a sobering thought: Those of us whose business is tied into the real estate market, what are you going to do when the first time homebuyer tax credit expires and interest rates rise? What are you going to do if they are extended even longer? What plan do you have in place now for what will happen 4-6 months from now?

Again, it is one of my goals this year to be more than a loan officer for you. I want to help you succeed and be more than you thought you could ever be by doing what you’re doing. If you need a mentor, idea wall (to bounce off of) or just feel stuck and need help looking at your business please don’t hesitate to call or email me.

Until next time!

Free SWOT Analysis Template

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