The Salaryman as a Business Owner

by: HR-The Next Gen


  • A salaryman is a business owner and his products are time and knowledge.
  • A SWOT analysis must be performed to find better and faster ways to reach goals. The analysis will point out the road with the shortest distance to the goal, and it will determine the best speed to travel along that road.

Would you want to do business with a company whose goal is to have sales decline each year, and whose profits are increasingly negative as they prepare to go bankrupt over the next two years?

What kind of business owner would act like this?

How does a real business owner act? First, he makes estimates about how the businesses will likely perform over the next year. Then he evaluates the sales and profits that may come from various situations that the business could be facing in the future. The business owner considers how a good economic climate will affect sales and profits, and also what will happen if the economy turns bad. He takes a close look at the competition in the specific industry, and how additional competitors might affect sales and profits too. He evaluates his own strengths and weaknesses in comparison to the competition in order to help predict the opportunities and obstacles that he will face throughout the coming year.

After the business owner has done all this, he prepares a battle plan and begins the fight anew. After the business owner has done all this, he prepares a battle plan and begins the fight anew.

Actually, a salaryman should not be thinking any differently than this business owner. If the goal of a business is to make a profit, then is it not also the goal of the salaryman to profit in his life?

Unlike a business, a person profits from things beyond money. The salaryman also seeks profits from such things as professional recognition and respect from colleagues in the form of compliments and accolades.

We are lucky if the profits we seek come with little effort, and it is a great thing if this continues without interruption through many good years. But what if next year is not so good? What will you do? Have you ever really analyzed your work situation and the probabilities of your continued profitability, in all its forms?

A salaryman is a business owner and his products are time and knowledge

Everyone is a business unto themselves.

It used to be that people identified themselves with only one company and enjoyed lifetime employment there. Employees remained loyal to the company that paid them a regular salary and gave them financial security. The company was the only customer for the services of time and knowledge from its employees. An entire generation was so closely identified with the company they worked for that it became part of their lives 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their dedication to the company went far beyond the workweek.

But the new generation is different. Now, people may work Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for one company and, at the same time, be thinking about how to attract other customers for their time and knowledge.

Circumstances and values change constantly, and if we do not keep up then we might lose an opportunity.

In today's business environment, salaried workers must also evaluate their situation each year by asking questions similar to those that business owners ask themselves.

How does your income this year compare to last year? If bonuses are a big part of your income, what are you doing to make sure you will receive bonuses as expected? If evaluation by your employer determines the amount of your bonus, how good does your work need to be in order to receive a good evaluation? If moving to a higher position in your company means more income, then this is a very important aspect of your employment situation. Consider carefully what kind of person will be promoted first.

SWOT analysis is a fundamental assessment of any business. If we can also view the salaryman as a business, then why don’t we apply SWOT analysis to him as well? The definition of SWOT found from searching Google is not clear so I will try to explain it according to my own understanding:

  • S is for STRENGTHS, the things that are already part of you that others do not possess. A strength must bring added value to your work. If others bring the same strength to their work, then it is not our strength. And if we have a unique strength, but it does not add value to the work, then it is not really a strength either.

  • W is for WEAKNESSES, which are the opposites of strengths. A Weakness is something that others have, but we do not. Weaknesses are our disadvantages when compared to others. If others have things that we do not, but this does not create a disadvantage for us, then it is not really a weakness.

  • O is for OPPORTUNITIES, the helpful things that come to us from the outside world. Working in an environment that helps encourage us to achieve a goal can be called an opportunity.

  • T is for THREATS, which are the opposites of opportunities. A Threat is not caused by us, but it obstructs us from achieving our goal.

  • We need to incorporate our strengths into our selling points.
  • We need to find ways to minimize our weaknesses so that they do not become things our competitors can use against us.
  • We need to seek out opportunities, and when we find one, be ready to grab it. Obstacles must always be avoided.

A SWOT analysis can be performed to figure out which road is the best one to take to our destination or goal. And if we want to reach that goal even faster, then SWOT analysis can even tell us the maximum speed and when to change lanes to avoid getting in a jam.

If your current goal is to get promoted from a staff member to a manager, then try performing a SWOT analysis on yourself to see how far you are from your goal.

It is said that if you know your enemy and know yourself, then you will not lose in a hundred battles. But to begin to know anything, you first must analyze it.