An entrepreneur should be ready to face different challenges head-on with a well-thought out plan. The market is in a constant state of flux, and your competitors are always thinking of something to get more of the market share. You need to map out strategies that could help your business get ahead of the competition an attain success.
You need to take time to understand your business and know the things that could affect its success. The tool often used to do this is SWOT Analysis or Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat. It may sound like MBA-speak, but it is nothing more than knowing what you can leverage, what you need to change, what opportunities can you make use of and what things can hamper the attainment of your goals.
To know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, here are questions that you need to ask about your business:
- What do you do well?
- What do you do better than others?
- What resources do you have?
- What unique resources do you have?
- What advantages do you have?
- What might others see as your strengths?
- What are key factors in your past success?
- What could be improved?
- Where do you have fewer resources than others?
- What might others see as your weaknesses?
- Key factors in past shortfalls?
- What good opportunities are open to you?
- What trends/changes in our environment are you facing?
- What opportunities do those trends/changes present?
- How can you turn your strengths into opportunities?
- What is your true competition?
- What is competition doing that should concern you?
- What obstacles are you encountering?
- What trends/changes in your environment are you facing?
- What threats do those trends/changes present?
- What threats do your weaknesses expose you to?
By knowing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you can then make plans after asking yourself these questions:
- Strengths: How can you best protect your key strengths?
- Weaknesses: How can you strengthen key weaknesses?
- Opportunities: How can you exploit key opportunities?
- Threats: How can you mitigate key threats?
Your answers to these questions will form the core of your plans for the business, giving you the ammunition you need to steer your small business to success.
Recommended Books to Help You Know the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Business:
- The SWOT Analysis: Using your Strength to overcome Weaknesses, Using Opportunities to overcome Threats
- How to perform your own SWOT analysis (Entrepreneurs Brief Guide Book 3)
- The Swot Analysis
- SWOT Analysis – An easy to understand guide
- SWOT Analysis Template: Grow Your Business Strategically
- How a SWOT Analysis Can Benefit Your Small Business
- How to Analyze the Performance of Your Business
- SWOT Analysis for Small Business
- How to Live Up to Your Greatest Potential
- The Essential Contents of a Marketing Plan