If you own a small business, you’re always looking for ways to help it grow. Whether through more sales opportunities for expanding into new areas within your industry. Any time you decided to make big decisions like those, it’s important to always calculate the risks and rewards of the decisions in consideration. You can easily make this calculation with something called a SWOT Analysis.
What Is SWOT Analysis
A SWOT Analysis is a brainstorming format that allows you to look at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to your business or organization. Essentially you are weighing the pros and cons of your business and identifying any areas where you will potentially face threats and opportunities.
When creating the framework for your SWOT analysis, the strengths that you list should include anything that your business does incredibly well. What makes your business stand out from the competition. The ‘X’ factor if you will. This could be your team, your motivations, your access to supplies and tools, your experience, etc.
On the other hand, your weaknesses are the areas where your organization is lacking. This is a more difficult area to fill out because it does require some difficult introspection. Be honest with yourself and with your organization about the areas where the organization is weak. Maybe the members of your organization lack experience or motivation, maybe you operate on a shoestring budget. Whatever it is, listing out your weaknesses will help you understand where you need to improve and what areas you need to hide.
Opportunities. Where are the areas where your organization can expand into. Where can progress be made by your organization? Maybe there is a niche in your industry that is wide open for filling or maybe there is a new product or service that you can expand into. This is a time to be a little optimistic so it’s okay to think “big picture.”
On the flip side, what are the risks that your business faces? Are there any competitors in your industry who are also gunning for the same opportunity? Do your competitors have more resources? Here you can list out any and every risk and threat that your business will face in the short and long term. By understanding your threats you can begin to plan and maneuver around them.
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