So when you think of SWOT do you get thoughts of people armed to the teeth busting in on your illegal teddy bear fighting ring?
Well you shouldn’t, because we are talking about SWOT . This is a helpful tool to get you thinking about what your business’ strengths, weaknesses , opportunities and threats. So let’s start at the beginning.
Strengths are things that you or your organization do very well, or in a way that sets you apart from the competition.
Imagine you own a bakery and you have a secret recipe passed down by a great grandmother from the old country that made really fluffy muffins with zero carbs. That would be a strength. Or or you bought a gym that was right next to a busy shopping center whose patrons were in love with the IDEA of working out.
Ok, you know what a weakness is and in times like these, honesty is the best policy.
When you are thinking of your weaknesses much like your strengths they are inherent parts of you or your business.
An example of a potential weakness could be that for your new restaurant you skimmed over the procedures part of the how to open a restaurant manual and now the employees have no clue how to take orders or cook the food properly. Alternatively you could be a magnificent operator but you stink at the money part and can’t tell the difference between your COGS , CAPEX and a baked potato..
Opportunity is where it’s at. Whether you’re the owner of a mom n pop shop, or the executive of a major corporation, there are plenty of opportunities that lie before you… so long as you’re willing to notice them AND take advantage of them.
This could be something like a new product or service that you can add to your lineup… a new promotion that you can run for your neighborhood… a new high quality person that you can bring aboard your team… or even a new purchase you can make to make your business stand out from the competition… opportunities are everywhere and it’s your job as a leader to find them.
This is different from weaknesses.
The weakness could be that you’re not physically strong enough to fight a bear… the threat is the bear itself.
In business, every one of your competitors is a threat. They’re after your lunch money. And they’re working 24/7/365 to take it from you.
But there’s also economic conditions and the threats that they present to you and your business.
Think about the global pandemic… or the rising cost of building materials for real estate developers… or the drunk guy across the street that wants to take out his aggression on your store’s front window. <– actually happened to a friend of mine.
Although it’s impossible to anticipate every threat that may come across your way, it’s in your best interest to be somewhat prepared at the very least.
So, think about it…
What are your or your business’s strengths and how can you leverage them to win?
What are you or your business’s weaknesses and how can you plan for them or recruit talent to help strengthen them?
Where are the opportunities in your business and what can you take advantage of immediately to boost yourself forward?
And where are the threats that you need to account for in case sh*t hits the fan?