Most small business owners will be returning to work this month with intentions to make 2016 their best year yet. Perhaps one of the most powerful tools for building a stronger, more successful business is a SWOT analysis. Taking a clear-eyed look at your current strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats puts you in the best possible position to map a path forward to success. I
If you aren’t sure how to prepare a SWOT analysis, check out our short video as a guide.
Here are some of the really exciting benefits you can gain from this relatively simple exercise.
Use Resources Efficiently
No company has unlimited resources, so every business owner needs to make decisions about where their scarce resources of time, money and staff will be invested. By forcing you to analyze your business strengths, a SWOT will help you to determine the most profitable use of your resources. It’s surprisingly easy to squander your competitive strengths – so it’s always valuable to remind yourself where those strengths lie.
Improve Your Operations
Facing up to your business weaknesses can be hard to do – but you aren’t going to get better without clearly recognising your business frailties and faults. If you want to stay ahead of your competition and avoid strategic blunders, then use your SWOT analysis to get clear about your key weaknesses and make a plan to improve.
It’s easy to get stuck in “business as usual” and miss exciting opportunities for new products and services, geographic expansion, broader distribution or new customer groups. A SWOT analysis forces you and your team to really think about the business opportunities that may have been staring you in the face. It’s only once an opportunity is recognised, that it can be turned into real growth and profits.
If you don’t see it coming, a shift in consumer trends, competitive activity, the economy or regularly environment can flatten your business. A SWOT forces you to look outside your business and scan for possible threats that may be on the horizon. If you see these threats coming, you will have time to make plans that mitigate their effect on you and your business.
If you want help preparing a SWOT Analysis please contact us. We are here to work with you on all aspects of your business planning. Check out our business planning video series on YouTube.