When it comes to strategic planning and brainstorming for the good of your small to medium business, a SWOT analysis comes very much in handy. You should conduct this analysis with a specific question or objective in mind if you want to get the most value out of it.
Utilizing the Business’ Strengths
It will help you find out which areas of your business are the strongest. These areas will be essential factors for your success and taking advantage of them will give your business a competitive edge. When you identify your business strengths and utilize them, you will be able to maintain them more effectively to avoid losing that competitive edge. Making sure your business grows will involve finding ways to utilize these strengths and build on them.
Managing the Business’ Weaknesses
The weaknesses in your business are factors that can jeopardize your competitive edge in comparison to your competitors. Once you identify these weaknesses and find ways to diminish them or improve on them, you can prevent them from becoming too big of a problem. You need to be realistic concerning your business’ weaknesses so you can handle them with full force.
Looking for New Opportunities for Your Business
The SWOT analysis can also help you find out new opportunities you can take advantage of for your business to boost profits. Usually, opportunities are generated by external factors outside the business and they could include market trends, economic trends, funding prospects, or new consumer trends. Looking for market opportunities is crucial to the survival and growth of your business. If, for example, your business’ SWOT analysis indicates that you can find new opportunities in changing market trends, then an advisable response would be to provide higher quality customer experiences, change advertising, change the prices of your existing products, or introduce new products.
There are other ways to look for new opportunities for your business aside from the SWOT analysis.
Look at other markets and how exporting products into other countries could bring about new business opportunities but you need to consider the current state of that new market as well. Do your research on the possible demand for your products, the local habits, and your competitors in that region.
Assess your Competition by researching on the other businesses in the market to find out their value proposition and competitive edge against your business. Establish your selling point so you can set yourself apart from these competitors. Find out what brings in customers and promote it.
Assess your Purchase Situation by looking at payment methods, distribution channels and other factors influencing purchasing to help you recognize how customers buy your services or products. You can then position them better or provide alternatives to bring in a new demographic of customers.
Section your Customer base into smaller groups based on shared characteristics like purchasing habits, attitude, lifestyle, location, gender, or age. This will help you assess the demand for your services or products and target each demographic section with specific offerings, promotions, and marketing to help you ultimately get new business opportunities.
Other types of business opportunities to look out for include website and business acquisitions, licensing, supply chain deals, distributor deals etc.