“A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps a business owner identify his/her strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and threats that may exist in a specific business situation.”
When it comes to business, a SWOT analysis can be an incredibly useful and powerful tool that helps you propel yourself and your business to the next level. When done correctly, a SWOT analysis can help you identify the things that you have accomplished, the areas in which you need to improve, the things that may prevent you from being successful, and the things that may open more doors for you. Let’s examine the layers of a SWOT analysis together:
When plotting out your strengths, try to ask yourself questions like the following:
- What have I accomplished since starting my business?
- What am I the most proud of as an entrepreneur?
- What data backs my efforts?
- What’s different about my business that sets me apart from the competition?
- What skills do I have that make me more prepared as a business owner?
After you answer these questions, really allow yourself to feel proud of everything you have accomplished. We also encourage you to find the patterns in these accomplishments. Have you met all of your goals in one particular aspect of your business? Do you feel the data shows you are motivated more in one aspect than in others (ex: accounting, marketing, etc.)? These answers will help you understand yourself better than ever before.
In order to take inventory of your weaknesses, we encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:
What tasks have I felt I have failed to deliver on?
- What skills do I need to improve upon?
- What do competitors do better than I?
- What areas of business do I feel are not given the best chance to thrive (can be due to lack of time, budget, inspiration, etc.)?
Once you ask yourself these few questions, you will quickly be able to pick up on the things that need improvement in your business. We encourage you to look at these with a positive mindset, rather than focus on the negatives of this part of the analysis. Be grateful you have the ability to recognize when you need help in some areas—that in and of itself is something to be proud of!
Find opportunities that are present for you and your business by going through questions such as…
- What goals do I have that I am actively working towards?
- What new tactics can help me achieve my goals (new technology, new industry inventions, etc.)?
- What can I do better from MY perspective?
- Based on my Yelp page, social media pages, or anything of that nature, what do my customers feel I can improve on?
- What do I feel I can devote more time to that will propel me towards success?
Identifying these opportunities can help you realign you and your business with future goals and show you what you should be focusing on. This also shows you the doors that are open for you to switch things up in business, whether you are aware of them or not!
The word ‘threat’ sounds very scary, but we encourage you to think of it as more of a roadblock. Ask yourself the following…
- What is stopping me from achieving my goals?
- What in the industry is leaving me feeling like I am not good enough to keep up with trends?
- What are my competitors doing that I simply don’t have the resources to do?
- Is the economy impacting my business in any way?
Sometimes these threats are easily fixable, and sometimes they are things that are out of your control. Either way, it is important to write them down and get in front of them. Recognize what is standing in your way and choose to switch your mindset from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘I will find a way.’
Now that you have completed your SWOT analysis, we encourage you to take a second to look at the things you have jotted down during this exercise and to set goals based on the facts that are presented to you in this exercise. What can you do to improve your business? What things that were once out of your control are actually part of your downfall? What can you do to capitalize on the opportunities at hand?
Set those goals and then go after them! We encourage you to revisit this exercise once a quarter at least, in an effort to realign yourself with the goals you set for yourself previously and how you have measured up in the meantime. Just remember: you’ve got this! Putting forth the effort will always pay off.
As always, if you are a part of the F45 family, we have your back. If you aren’t, let’s discover how we can capitalize on our strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities together. Contact us today!
How to Conduct a Successful SWOT Analysis as an Entrepreneur