“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”Sun-Tze
This is a crucial step before you set your goals.
Within your control
In your business, there are factors within your control.
Factors that enhance your position are called strengths.
Those that weaken your position are called weaknesses.
All businesses have strengths and weaknesses.
The conventional idea was to leverage your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
By all means leverage your strengths. However, you want to make a strategic decision about working on your weaknesses. Because not all weaknesses need to be addressed.
Outside your control but within your influence
Then there are factors that are outside of your control but within your influence.
These factors are termed as opportunities and threats.
Our definition of influence is based on your ability to influence both forces within and outside of your business.
There are factors that are absolutely beyond you.
You have no control over them. Neither do you have any form of influence whatsoever.
The true wisdom is to be able to identify these early on and to make projections based on analyses of data and information.
This crucial step is called environmental scan as it seeks to identify the factors that may have an impact on your business in the next 12 to 18 months.
Missing this step will almost certainly result in your business succumbing to failure.