Tag Archives: SWOT analysis

Maintaining Momentum After Layoffs

21 Aug

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Layoffs have the same effect on a non-profit as knocking the wind out of someone by running at them full speed. At least that’s how it felt when a dear organization I was involved with had succumbed to the depths of the economic struggle. One day 9 amazing people – who regularly devoted hours and days beyond the 37.5 hour work week – worked in a tight-knit office. The next day 2 remained. All were devastated.

Layoffs – one or many – can totally zap all momentum if left to fester. How do those that remain pick up again and move on, likely doing their job plus another? Well, the answer isn’t an easy one and honestly, will be different for every organization because each one has a different dynamic. But here are my 4 keys to getting back on the proverbial horse and moving on.

1. Mourn. It’s ok to take some time – “some” is defined differently for everyone – to mourn the loss of employees/friends so do it. But then it’s time to pull it together and get serious about the future.

2. Refocus. Ok, so now back to business.

  • Schedule a meeting with the Board of Directors to hear what their expectations are.
  • Complete a SWOT analysis. What went wrong? What did we do well.
  • Define new goals. Start small and work up to major issues.
  • Be flexible. Allow room for modifications to the plan.

3. Restructure if necessary. Define new positions; retitle where applicable. Who will be doing what? Explicitly outline expectations.

4. Use Volunteers. Increase volunteer involvement in projects and campaigns. Focus on the use of volunteer committees. If necessary, complete a volunteer recruitment campaign.

Bottom Line: Layoffs are difficult, but you can overcome. 

Do you have any words of wisdom to contribute to this article? Be part of the discussion by sharing your views in the “Comments” section below.

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SWOT Analyses

3 Mar

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I just posted a few things on my Facebook page and Twitter feed about conducting SWOT analyses for your business. So I thought it might be beneficial to follow that up with a quick overview of what a SWOT analysis is and how it can help you make some important decisions within your business operations.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It’s utilized to examine the productivity of your business practices (i.e. marketing, publicity, finance, operational, etc.). The goal  is to determine how to better use these practices to your advantage while conducting them more efficiently. It will give you a general direction for pursuing your short- and long-term goals. And it’s simple really. You’ll have to set aside some time and commit to being brutally honest, but in the end, I think you’ll find that it was very much worth it. I would encourage you to try this at least once per year.

Here are just some of the questions to ask yourself for each item:


  • What are my advantages?
  • What do I do well or better than someone else?
  • What unique resources do I have?
  • What is my financial picture? (also applicable elsewhere)
  • Do I have an arsenal of new/innovative ideas?


  • What improvements could we make?
  • Where do I feel we are falling short?
  • In what areas do competitors have an overwhelming advantage?
  • What could/should I avoid doing?
  • What is my financial picture?


  • Are there any interesting or promising trends?
  • Do I have beneficial partnerships on which I can capitalize?
  • Can I identify any untapped talent/markets?
  • Are there any advantageous changes in society, technology or media?


  • Is there a competitor in my market that is better equipped?
  • How is staff morale?
  • What are my most immediate obstacles?
  • Is my changing financial picture affecting the long-term position of my business?
  • Will some of my products/services become obsolete because of technology, social changes, etc?
  • Do I have a contingency plan?

And it can be that straightforward. A simple list for each item is all you need. Audit your situation today for a more secure tomorrow. Good luck. Until next time,


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