Cut Yourself Some SLACC

Jim Blasingame

People make New Year's resolutions all the time. But do you know anyone who has ever actually kept one?

OK -- one person; but he's the same guy who reminded the teacher that she had forgotten to give out the homework.

Knowing how difficult, not to mention annoying, resolutions can be, here is a different way to look at the things we need to work on in our small businesses. I call it Strategic Look At Critical Components, or SLACC, for short.

You may remember that I've introduced this idea in years past as an alternative to resolutions, and instead, cut yourself some SLACC.

Here's a list of seven key areas on which to focus your SLACC. Over the next several weeks we'll discuss each category in more detail.

1. Financial
Give your company some SLACC by reviewing your financial systems. Learn more about your business' financial statements, especially how they influence each other. SLACC up on your understanding of the difference between cash flow and accounting.

2. Human Resources
Take the necessary SLACC to make sure your organization finds and keeps the best people.

Cut your staff some SLACC by getting them the best training you can afford, with emphasis on how their assignments have -- and are -- changing in the 21st century.

3. Management
The marketplace is a dynamic and evolving organism. Use SLACC to identify 21st century best practices, including the brand new ones, plus the most current variations of classic management practices.

4. Marketplace
What customers need are commodities; what they want requires customization. Use SLACC to help you develop strategies that deliver what your customers want and let the Big Boxes give people what they need.

Share your SLACC vision for taking care of customers with all of the stakeholders in your organization, including employees and vendors.

5. Technology
Now more than ever before, technology converts to operating efficiencies which produces new profit opportunities. Cut yourself some SLACC by making sure both your people and your technology are deployed appropriately.

6. Public Policy
Every small business is influenced by politics. Use SLACC to identify when to be personally involved in small business political issues, like taxes, healthcare, and regulations, and when to contribute to organizations that are better able to influence proposed laws and regs on your behalf.

7. Personal
Employ the SLACC method to help you remember why you became a small business owner in the first place. Once you've gotten yourself properly oriented, SLACC will lead you to the greatest truth about small business owners, which is that our success must be defined by more than just money and stuff.

Write this on a rock... To paraphrase the Chinese proverb, the longest journey begins with the first SLACC.

Jim Blasingame
Small Business Expert and host of The Small Business Advocate Show
©2008 All Rights Reserved

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