Why do a SWOT Analysis for your Business?

If you’ve heard of it, you’ll be wondering why this annoying piece of admin is so important for your business. I’ve seen more groans at the sound of doing it, than cheers, so why waste your time and do a SWOT analysis for your business? Well, quite simply, because it could save you from disaster! What other reason do you need?

What is a SWOT analysis?

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats! It will help you assess these areas of your business which will help you spot problems, and potential opportunities. When you have your eyes open to problems and opportunities you can make plans for them well in advance.

This isn’t just for big businesses either. This is for sole traders, side hustlers, small business owners, charities, mlm’s, and tech giants. It’s for anyone that is running their own business, and wants it to continue that way!

If you made a business plan you will probably have already done one of these. So why not dig it out and make sure it’s up-to-date. If not, you can start from scratch now. Start by dividing a piece of paper into four by drawing a cross in the middle, then label each section: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Why do a SWOT analysis for your business?

Strengths and Weaknesses

Your strengths are what you are good at. In this section make notes about any skills, qualifications, licenses, equipment, location, staff, and services you are able to offer that make your business strong and/or unique.

Your weaknesses are the opposite. Where are your weak spots, what are other businesses doing that you aren’t? What can they do that you can’t? Note everything that might count as a weakness to your business.

Here’s some ideas that might apply to a variety of different businesses, but you can adapt them and come up with more relevant ideas.

StrengthsWeaknesses
Qualified translatorCompetition deliver
Uses own recipesDon’t work with big dogs
Brings own cleaning equipment/productsDon’t offer private consultations
Available in eveningsOut of town
Good parkingHas new/exciting product
Degree educated life coachDon’t have website ordering
Employs an award winning baristaDon’t take credit card payments
Only available between other commitments to take orders
Family run, no staff

Opportunities and Threats

Once you have your strengths and weaknesses sections started, you’ll be getting an idea of what your opportunities might be. Your strengths column will highlight things you are good at – are you taking full advantage of those? Also, consider current trends, upcoming seasonal opportunities. Are there craft fairs coming up that you could register for? I

If your competition offer more convenient ordering, you could be losing out to customers that shop at strange hours, like to decide and buy quickly, or customers that like to see all the options or pay online with a card. So you might consider solving those problems by automating your ordering system. Or, if your competition offer a particular service, could you do something similar – what skills or equipment would you need to compete?

Reliable service is king

Your threats column will include anything that might go wrong in your business that could affect the service you offer. Reliable service is essential to todays clients, in fact, it’s the main reason people change their habits.

If you are a cleaner, for example, car breakdown might be a threat to your business – do you have a spare? Or could you get a taxi? If you offer online training, internet failure could cause disaster. Do you have a back up option, if you had to change location suddenly, where could you go? What if your award winning chocolatier quit, what would that do for your business? How can you make sure they are happy in their job? Could you train someone else to do their job – just in case?

Threats also include weaknesses that your competitors can take advantage of. If you don’t offer delivery but they do, are your customers likely to prefer that? If you don’t have easy parking, might your clients choose to go elsewhere?

Here’s some more ideas…

OpportunitiesThreats
Christmas Skilled staff member could leave
Sign language trained staffSupplier doesn’t turn up
Tik Tok SpecialistsVan breakdown
Possible new rangeRise in cost of key ingredient
Upgrade equipmentRoad closure
New staffFamily illness

This section is absolutely vital. Knowing potential threats and opportunities will stop you from getting swallowed up by your competition, it will keep you relevant, keep you operating, and will give you the opportunity to create a plan B – before it’s needed.


How would a 1-1 help you figure out your SWOT Analysis?

Book a power-up with us now and we’ll work with you to identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats so you can stay ahead!