The Profitable Horseman's Newsletter The only weekly electronic newsletter published for Professional Horsemen.
December 7, 2007

If you are looking for positive results in your horse business, we should have a conversation about how Profitable Horseman strategies can help. E-mail or call me. (716) 434-5371

this week:
  • Start 2008 With A S.W.O.T Team !
  • Speaking about the Horse Business...
  • Others have said
  • Back at the Barn
  • Horses are Horses-Business is Business-You Ask-I'll Answer!

  • Start 2008 With A S.W.O.T Team !

    Build your own SWOT form as easy as 1-2-3!

    During a spontaneous fit of year end cleaning in the office the other day, a tool fell out of the closet and landed on my foot. Luckily, it wasn't a hammer or worse, an anvil. It was a paper SWOT form for business planning.

    I suspect it appeared as a reminder from the universe to encourage me to use this tool more often with clients and also with my own business.

    If you're not familiar with SWOT, don't confuse it with S.W.A.T., the police team with the special arsenal.

    The SWOT I'm referring to is a process for identifying:

    • Strengths
    • Opportunities
    • Weaknesses
    • Threats

    For use with a group or individually, the SWOT exercise helps all team members recognize what's good and what is not so good about a business, organization or project.

    SWOT was introduced to the business world in the 1960's and 1970's in a project at Stanford University by Albert Humphrey. The process focuses on specifying the objective of a business, individual or project and listing the factors that are helping or hurting achievement of the objective.

    You'll like the fact that the SWOT process is fairly simple and is easy to begin.

    1. Divide a sheet of paper, poster board or white board into quadrants.
    2. Label the quadrants: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
    3. Begin to add the items that make up SWOT in a brainstorming fashion. Evaluate and prioritize later.

    You can do this as a group project with team members, or individually. According to business consultant Gordon Smith of Buffalo, NY, "The reason this process works is that it takes the thoughts floating around in the brain and gets them on paper for all to see. Most business owners never take the time to put it down in this format."

    In your first SWOT session, fill the quadrants on you worksheet with the items offered by the team. Brainstorming rules apply; no need to be judgmental about the items offered in the first session. Then meet again later the next day or week to review, analyze and then prioritize. The purpose is not to make lists; the goal is to produce strategies and actions to help achieve the objective of your business.

    Consider these points:

    • You can't usually fix weaknesses, don't be distracted. Instead,
    • Build on your strengths
    • A weak strength doesn't balance or offset a strong threat
    • The desired outcome is strategy and action plans, not a simple list

    An individual within a business, a riding instructor for example, can do his or her own personal SWOT session or the entire team can contribute for all departments of a business.

    The simplicity and power of this tool put it in the same category as a hammer.

    They both are easy to operate and essential for building great things. You will get a good jump on your 2008 business planning with a SWOT session soon.

    Speaking about the Horse Business...

    Need a speaker about the horse business for your horse organization?

    Talk to me about talking. Keynotes and workshops available. (716) 434-5371

    Others have said

    "In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results." -- Sir Winston Churchill

    "I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." -- E. B. White

    Back at the Barn
    april snow barn

    Thanks to many readers who took the time to drop me an e-mail last week about gifts for my wife's upcoming significant birthday. Your input is helpful.

    Cold temperatures are a given in all of North America this time of year, but the sight of snow plows decorating the front ends of pick up trucks this week had me fantasizing about what a horseman's life would be like without slipping on, wading through or shoveling snow. Don't get me wrong, I like snow. But only under my terms which are: Christmas morning and on a ski slope.

    Just for fun, I keep track of the daily weather in other areas of the country. The relatively mild temperatures and favorable forecasts get me dreaming. Then my fantasizing stops when I consider the tradeoff for snow is hurricanes and tornadoes.

    In a positive way of thinking about snow, did you know that when viewed individually, snow flakes are unique pieces of art? Viewed singly under magnification, no two look alike in their crystal structure.

    However, when viewed collectively in a five foot high snow drift across a driveway, nobody cares.

    Horses are Horses-Business is Business-You Ask-I'll Answer!
    DEE photo Dec 07

    What's your question about the business half of the horse business?

    • Marketing ?
    • Financing?
    • Hiring and Firing?
    • Customer Relations?
    • Sales?
    • Balancing Work, Rest and Play?

    E-mail me your question. I'll answer it here in a future newsletter as time and space allow.

    E-mail me your Question for this section by clicking here.


    Click on the links below for more information

    Profitable Horseman Web Page

    Past issues of Profitable Horseman newsletter

    Don't Look Back Professional Horseman's Blog- More Free Business Tips Click on the link.

    Join our mailing list!

    Back to Articles Page