As a small business owner, or entrepreneur, you have no doubt heard of a SWOT analysis. But with a heavy workload, is it really necessary for your small business to complete a SWOT analysis?
In my experience, it is an absolute must to do a SWOT analysis for your small business. A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method that you can use to evaluate your small businesses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Strengths.
When doing a SWOT analysis it is important to bear in mind the following things when evaluating each section. In brief each element should contain:
– Strengths: internal attributes of yourself or your company that will serve to achieve objectives within the company.
– Weaknesses: internal attributes of the company that may be detrimental to achieving your goals.
– Opportunities: external factors that will make success easier.
– Threats: external factors that may hinder your final objective.
Once you have established your final goal, or an objective to be reached within a certain timescale, I think a SWOT is vital in achieving business success. Once you have established internal strengths and weaknesses it becomes possible to take these in to account when considering how to take your small business, and make amendments that will play to your strengths.
The areas that are considered to be weaknesses within your small business need to be addressed. Work out if these weaknesses will truly impact your business, and if there are ways to improve in these areas. If an area such as accounting is your weakness, rather than wasting time learning the skill it may be more cost-effective and time efficient to outsource the service.
External opportunities and threats are key when considering how to move your small business forward. Developing markets are a key example of an opportunity and a threat may be a new competitor in your marketplace.
By recognising these opportunities and threats you will be better equipped to deal with them: forewarned is forearmed! There are many SWOT analysis tools out there, I would, of course, recommend the one from WinWeb!