How the SWOT Method Can Quickly Improve Your Business
At some point, we as entrepreneurs will end up asking ourselves “How can I grow my business even more?” Maybe it’s because there hasn’t been any solid growth in a while — or maybe the local competition is still dominating. Whatever the reason may be, sometimes taking a step back to assess your business can be the easiest and most cost-effective way to finding a solution. The SWOT Analysis is an awesome tool to get you headed in the right direction.
The SWOT Analysis is a simple framework, divided into four parts, that can identify why your business is stagnating or why you haven’t measured up to your competition yet. Better yet, you can potentially discover a new service, product, or feature that can help you separate yourself from the competition.
SWOT stands for:
To start, all you would need is a sheet of paper. Divide the paper into four parts as seen below. Label each section in the order shown above. Ask yourself the following questions for each category:
What are we doing well? What do customers love about us? Why do they keep coming back? What features, products, or services are separating us from the competition? Where are we experiencing the most growth?
What can we do better? What parts of our business have become unprofitable and why? What do customers complain about the most? What is our business lacking and why? In what ways is our competition beating us and why?
Is there a new market segment that we can tap into? And, if so, what’s stopping us? Are there any new technologies or trends that we can take advantage of? Are there any new products or services that could help attract new customers? What do customers complain about when it comes to our competition? How can we take advantage of those complaints?
What obstacles are we facing when it comes to growing your business? Are any of these obstacles industry-related or economy-based? What is our competition doing that we should be doing? What keeps us up at night when it comes to the business and why? Are any of our products, features, or services ineffective?
The Top Three
When you’re finished, go through each section and choose the three most important Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Then just prioritize the rest in order of effectively completing or solving. The idea here is to start working on what you feel is most important when it comes to improving your business. Start taking advantage of what makes your brand work and resolve any issues that are keeping your business from growing.
By asking yourself these questions, you can quickly understand where your business stands and what can be done to improve what’s already working as well as fix issues that can potentially cripple your brand. It’s a fun exercise, it’s free, and you can constantly come back and update it over time.
If you don’t have time to evaluate the state of your business, reach out to us today for a consultation and we’d be glad to help!
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