Before writing your Business Plan for next year, I suggest you do a SWOT Analysis
A “S.W.O.T. Analysis” is a technique developed by Albert Humphrey in the 1960’s. Its a great tool to assess what your Business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are. Let’s go through each.
In this part of the analysis, think about “What are the inherent strengths of your business?”
For example, if you are in the cleaning business, what things do you naturally do well? It may be:
- Cleaning – You are a Great Cleaner
- Transportation – You have a great vehicle to get around in, some folks don’t
- Experience – We may simply know more about cleaning than other folks
In essence, this is the time to think about your business’s natural advantages over many competitors.
In this part of the analysis, think about the inherent weaknesses of your company. Let’s stick with the “Cleaning Business” example. Many cleaners are Great at cleaning, but they are horrible at Accounting or Marketing.
The point is, this is the part of the SWOT Analysis that one should honestly assess the question…
“What do my competitors inherently do better than me?”
“What steps can I make to improve?”
Now, its time to think about “external factors.” Let’s take a look outside your business to see if there are any opportunities that you can take advantage of. For example-
Our “cleaning business example” may discover that a “business park” is being developed a mile from her home. Wow, this could be a great opportunity for the business to land some accounts that did not exist before.
In essence, in this part of the analysis, think to yourself….
“Are there opportunities in my market that I am not taking care of?”
This, as I suspect you have already guessed, will be the opposite of the “Opportunities” section. So again, this is the time to look for “External Factors” outside of your control that could hurt your business.
Let’s say your Cleaning Company has landed several office cleaning accounts in an office park, but the word on the street is, “The developer is going to close this office park and relocate.”
This would be an external threat. Its outside of your control, but it will have severe negative consequences to your company.
When you see the Threat on the horizon, don’t freak out.
Know the Threat is coming, and make a plan to get around it.
For example, I would strongly suggest for our above company to start looking for new sources of business!
The best way to get over the “feeling of not being in control” is to make a Business Plan.
- Write down the Goal of Your Business
- Do an honest SWOT analysis of your business.
- With that knowledge, make a plan to get to your goal!
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