It’s Time to SWOT Your Business

By Nicola Smith Jackson

It’s Time to SWOT Your Business

All glamour aside, being an entrepreneur can be down-right hard.  Even though you might scroll down social media feeds and you see the glitz and glam, it doesn’t happen that way.   It boils down to needing systems for all areas of your business, which gives you a better chance for predictable success and growth.

If you’re having any sort of challenges and struggles in your business more than likely your solution boils down to four core areas that you need to take a look at.   This is called the SWOT Analysis, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.   It’s these four areas that you should assess in your business before you move on to any new strategies or decisions.

Sometimes  we trade in what works for something new when what really needs to happen is a proper evaluation, so you can act on facts instead of all of the “shiny objects” that won’t give you favorable results.  The SWOT will  help you identify your company’s strengths in order to put them in the best position for stability and growth.  Below is a brief description of each of the four areas:

 

Strengths

Strengths are the areas of your business that perform well and help you to have a competitive edge.  What areas of your business are working well and have gotten you favorable results, and profit? What do your customers/clients and competitors see as your strengths?  Remember, your strengths must help you to stand out and above and they must be sustainable. These that you can consistently deliver with a high standard over time and within your core values.

 

Weaknesses

Are there day-to-day areas of your business where you find yourself short-handed, overwhelmed and lacking?  Don’t take it personally, because it takes a team to assist you in managing.  Sometimes you just need someone to integrate all your systems together to give you an organized workflow.  This doesn’t mean that you have to hire a full time staff, but you can identify key players and need to be in position in other areas of your business, finances, legal, sales and marketing, fulfilment.  Don’t be  afraid from the list, you might be filling many of the roles, but as you scale you might be filling many of these

A good idea is to go on job boards, like Indeed, Upwork, Fiverr where you can search freelancers offering their services.  Remembr, hire for individual tasks, part-time or by project.  It’s important to keep costs down and profits up,  So only fill positions as needed.

Take a look at your staff positions, team, management, resources, systems, and procedures.  What needs eliminating, improved upon and/or revamped?  Why are competitors, team members doing better than you?

 

Opportunities

Now that you’ve taken a look at your strengths, it’s time to identify opportunities.  Have you ever heard of the expression, “the diamonds are in your own backyard”?  This means that oftentimes opportunities to strengthen and grow your company are all around you, but you may not have taken the time to evaluate and look for them or you might miss them altogether because you’re not aware of what your needs are

It’s important to create your vision, mission and core values so when an opportunity presents itself, you can take advantage.  It’s also important that you understand the value of core relationships and a strong network.

Opportunities usually occur outside of your company, so it’s important to pay close attention to trends, news, and what’s happening with your competition.  Opportunities allow you to take advantage of the times and situations.  The COVID-19 crisis is one such example.  Hundreds of thousands of businesses are thriving because they looked for the opportunity  and became a solution to others rather than focus on the problems.

 

Threats

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to operating your business.  Businesses that were not ready were operating under a huge threat.  The online industry has been growing for more than a decade now.  Businesses were able to transition to a different model and were able to take advantages the business suffered immensely.

Those who only depend on social marketing  including having a website that can host your offerings just in case the owners of Facebook and other platforms run into a problem.  The important thing is to stay in the know and consistently be steps ahead with the SWOT Analysis.

Threats include anything that can impact your business negatively or even shut it down.  Usually it happens from the outside, but can be on the inside as well.  Again, you must watch out for trends, news,changes in the market and economic issues that can cause your business to slow down or even fail.  The COVID-19 crisis also became a threat to millions of businesses and many shut down completely.  So, you must develop a strong anticipation skill and know what’s happening around you.

Are there any threats to your business now?  Are there any obstacles that you are facing in marketing your business?  Are there any products that you need to eliminate or change because there is no longer a demand for them?  Are you facing a communications threat with your customers/clients, because you are not using the right type of technology?  Do you have bad debt, or financial issues that pose a threat?

 

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