Put myself back to when Peggy Piontkowski first created Sassy Scrubs. If she would have done a SWOT analysis, what might she have listed in each category (S, W, O, and T)?
Quoting from an internet resource, about the circumstances in which Piontkowski started Sassy scrubs – Her daughter wanted a better scrub suit for her nursing school and at that moment, Piontkowski had the whole company vision (Neal J., 2000). She was a stay-at-home mom due to disability from a surgery. She was creative and industrious. Considering these circumstances, she would have done a SWOT analysis as follows –
-Cutting edge technology support from NIIST’s MEP (National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership) program (Neal J., 2000) which will help her to develop unique printed/cotton scrubs and products that is 100% US made.
– Strong will power to bring in change and taking risk.
– Strong marketing skills.
– Lack of long range business plan, strategy and goal.
– Lack of sufficient knowledge, skills and resources to manage mass production and distribution.
– Unique product line (printed and cotton scrubs) will bring in quick brand name.
– Strong support for US products.
– Wide acceptance and support for small business owners, especially women.
– Possible copy of the product line by competitors.
– Lack of established supply chain network.
– Lack of industrial contacts, partnerships and alliances.
Considering rapid growth rate of the company and its inability to effectively manage and control money and unexpected business changes, there is relevance for a frequent SWOT analysis done. Lets go back to end of 1999 and see how the SWOT would have looked like –
-Introducing fresh concepts for producing fashionable apparels as and when a particular consumer segment wants it.
– Strong marketing skills.
– Knowledge and determination to sell products online.
– No strategic planning, thus going in too many directions.
– Single leader trying to manage everything who lacks skills to run the business
– No knowledge about numbers – Piontkowski doesn’t know what’s the financial situation of the company is at any point, its cash flow, expenses, inventory and accounts receivables.
– Build up of brand name and increased customer orders. This will lead to a steady business once the current constraints are taken care of.
– Wide usage of internet for online shopping will help the company to stay alive.
– Wide acceptance of Piontkowski’s efforts throughout the industry will lead to possible take over, alliances and support.
-Late receivables, insufficient cash flow and thus increased inventory.
– Credit card debts and losing line of credit which closes all doors for financial support. Possible calls for bankruptcy and closing of retails stores.
– Lack of focus, again this is an after effect of lack of planning.
From experience, Piontkowski discovered that creativity and ability to create scrubs alone is not sufficient but effective business management skills, most importantly, money management, is also necessary. She also discovered that strategic business planning has a great relevance in the midst of changing business environments. Based on this enlightenment, she should have considered performing SWOT analysis at least once in a year.
1. Sassy Scrubs. About Us (2007). Latest Retrieved April 07, 2007 from http://www.sassyscrubs.com/about_sassy_scrubs.php
2. Dickinson, C. J. (Nov 24, 2000) Some Retailers Trading Bricks for Clicks. CNY Business Journal. Retrieved on April 07, 2007 from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3718/is_200011/ai_n8908823
3. Neal J. (n.d.). Entrepreneur Cleaning Up by Making Medical Scrubs. Retrieved on April 07, 2007 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Entrepreneur+Cleaning+Up+by+Making+Medical+Scrubs-a065464412