Give ’em a SWOT

"People don't plan to fail, they fail to plan." I don't know who originally authored this axiom or whether it just magically appeared on a legion of coffee mugs, but February seems like a good time to talk about planning. The holidays are over and most retailers have finished taking inventory. The winter shows in Vicenza, New York, and Orlando have given us a preview of the style trends to expect this year. We have a new president, a new century (even millennium purists agree), and a new selling season fast approaching. In short, if you're not going to take time to do some serious planning now, when will you? A good place to start is by doing a SWOT analysis of your own business. More than a popular business buzzword, a SWOT analysis provides a sound base for planning by telling you where you are. Whether you run a thousand-store chain or a two-person operation, if you don't know where y

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