It’s worth taking a bit of time on a regular basis (at least every three months) to work out and write down the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, and Constraints which affect your courier business.
Once you have them listed, you can work out a plan to build on and exploit your strengths, and to reduce your exposure to your weaknesses. Keep an open mind for opportunities, and decide whether to dodge or defend yourself from immediate or long term threats. Watch out for constraints; analyse them carefully them and plan around them. Here are some common examples; some of them are linked:
S: Your courier business has a solid reputation for customer service.
S: Your courier business pays a very low rent, so costs are low.
S: Your website is at the top of Google, so you get a lot of business from it at virtually no cost.
W: Your courier business is indistinguishable from all the others locally
W: Your courier business is very slow to invoice and collect payments
O: An industrial estate is being built next door
O: Your biggest competitor has become lazy and complacent
T: Your biggest customer accounts for the majority of your sales
T: Your biggest customer is overdue in filing their accounts, and may be in financial trouble.
T: Your insurances do not cover your risks
T: A national courier company has opened a branch in town
T: Your couriers are talking about setting up on their own
C: You are always short of cash
C: You only have two vans.
C: Your phone is often engaged because you have only one line.
© 2009 Tim Gilbert – All rights reserved.