Diary of an Ad Man

January 1, 2014

SWOT Profits

SWOT Profits

In yesterday’s email, I told you that one of the keys to profits, growth and wealth was …


Well… give me a minute here… I’d like to expand on that thought.

I’d like to say that every great business success had a WRITTEN marketing plan. And a WRITTEN budget for the year. I don’t know it that would be universally true… but it should be. Here’s why—

Successful marketing is not an accident.

Most of the time, it is the result of trying and failing, trying and failing… test and retest. And testing again.

One hundred years ago… America’s biggest merchant said…

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted;
the trouble is I don’t know which half.”—John Wanamaker.

Today, we can tell which half is wasted and eliminate it. (See this:


I’m writing to you this morning to encourage you to WRITE OUT YOUR BUSINESS PLAN for 2014. And WRITE OUT your marketing plan.

In fact, make THIS YEAR the year you WRITE out every SYSTEM and PROCEDURE in your business. Why? Because as long as all the systems and procedures are in your head… you cannot grow… without BEING THERE.

If you want to grow your business… you can’t be in two places at once. You’ve got to hire a crew to help you. And the crew MUST know how you’d do it if you were there.

How would you answer the phone?

How would you deal with this angry customer?

How would you make sure inventory was ordered on time?

How would you follow-up with new customers, and old customers?

How would you hire new employees?

How would you???…. And so forth… and so on….

If you have WRITTEN procedures and WRITTEN systems… not only will your business run more smoothly…. But get this… you can actually SELL your business for more money. If you have written procedures and systems… you have more FREE TIME… Why? Because your crew can handle more of the work load because they will know EXACTLY HOW to run your business for you.


Plus… if you have written systems and procedures for your business… you’ll have more buyers possible (if you wanted to sell your business).

Let’s say you have a martial arts school or a plumbing business… and you have written systems and procedures… why, even a CPA could come in and take over your business. The CPA would not have to know much about martial arts, or replacing water heaters… all he’d have to do is follow the system and procedures manuals. Your business would take on a new value. You could demand a higher price.

Listen… Begin THIS YEAR writing down what needs to be done and then getting others to do it. Delegate.

If you need help mapping out the ideas in your head… use the SWOT method.



If you just write those things down, you’ll be far ahead of most entrepreneurs out there who are still winging it. Writing down a SWOT agenda can result in a pretty good business plan for the year.

Proper planning and proper timing are keys to your success.

This could be as simple as advertising heavy during the rainy season, if you sell umbrellas. Or it could be as complicated as advertising heavy in your off season if you must keep your employees busy (if you labor pool is tight… say technicians in a specific industry). Or it could be a change in a law is coming up and it will effect buying behavior… and you want to take advantage of that change. It could be making sure you advertise in harmony with known paydays of your town’s workers. Planning… and timing… planning and timing.

Don’t wing it. I’ve met lots of folks over the years who thought going into business was too risky. That fear always puzzled me. Getting out of bed each morning is “risky”… but we learn to manage that risk. Running a business is much the same as getting out of bed. We learn to manage our risks.

If you need some help in this department… feel free to call. I’ve owned and consulted with hundreds of different businesses… in a wide variety of industries. I’m betting I can help you improve your profits, your sales and your growth.

Let’s talk

Linwood Austin



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