Business planning with a twist

Dr. Harvey Hoffman
Dr. Harvey Hoffman

Participants in a Senior Corps of Retired Executives seminar at the Wilton Library June 26 will learn there are business plans, and then there are SWOT business plans.

SWOT stands for Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats, said Dr. Harvey Hoffman, a business professor at Fairfield University who will lead the session from 6 to 8 p.m.

The event is presented by the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, SCORE and the Wilton Library. The media sponsor is The Wilton Bulletin.

It will provide prospective business owners with the tools they need to create an effective business plan, Hoffman told The Bulletin. It will assist in developing a proactive, real-world business strategy that is focused, realistic and tailored to the specific business.

“SWOT is a well-known approach that is used by large companies to develop strategic plans. It is typically used with large groups to foster communications and discussion. I just adapted the approach so that individuals and small companies could take the concept and apply it to their specific needs,” said Hoffman, who is director of the Management of Technology Program and interim electrical engineering chair

in the School of Engineering at Fairfield University.

Hoffman said in an email the benefits of this training include:

  • Helping the budding entrepreneur understand themselves.

  • Developing insight into where the business can focus to grow.

  • Increasing understanding of the industry.

  • Focusing on advertising and marketing that provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

  • Developing the foresight to see looming threats so that they can react proactively.

Hoffman’s background includes both industry and academic experiences.  While in industry, he held positions ranging from research and development engineer, group manager, project manager to general manager. In the aerospace field he worked on the space shuttle and the Titan rocket. He participated in the development and production of radar and artillery weapons systems, and analytical instruments, systems and services for radiation detection and radiation monitoring. He holds a patent for a digital scan converter employing an accelerated scan.

Hoffman earned five degrees including a master’s degree in management, a doctorate in higher educational administration and three degrees in electrical engineering.

He is the author of two books, Organizations Through the Eyes of a Project Manager and The Engineering Capstone Course: Fundamentals for Students and Instructors, and more than 20 academic and technical papers and presentations. 

The June 26 event is free. Participants may register online at or call 203-831-0065 with any questions. Check-in begins at 5:30.