How To Make a SWOT Analysis Your Best Friend
How to Make a SWOT Analysis Your Best Friend
Is that a groan I hear? Usually when small business owners even think of SWOT analyses, there is an intense desire to be doing anything else. They feel a sudden need to organise old files or maybe even Hoover the home office. Typical responses are “I don’t need to do that. It’s all in my head” or “that’s for bigger businesses.”
What’s driving this reaction? Simply put, it’s the nervousness that somehow you are not measuring up. There is an assumption that it will be only bad news if you examine closely how your business is progressing. Granted the current economy is sluggish on a good day but there are plenty of businesses who were founded, grown, and even profited during these challenging time.
How could a SWOT analysis be my best friend? Think about the last time you had a really deep, soul-connecting conversation with a good friend. Your business is such a major part of your life, even at times, a consuming part. This analysis is really a conversation between your business and you and/or your business partners about how your business is performing.
If you are not familiar with a SWOT analysis, you evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of your business. Sure, it is challenging to look at your shortcomings but you also get to look at your successes.
While working with entrepreneurial small business owners, I’ve added a departure from the usual way of evaluating your business. Notice changes in revenue, your client base, and the business environment. Here is the twist, add in any personal information that directly relates to the business. Personal crises such as divorces, serious illness, or other family crises that affect your energy level and ability to perform well as the leader of your business. Positive events such as moving to a new community or a new marriage can also affect your performance. This information makes a difference in how your design your strategic planning, goals, and growth.
Smart entrepreneurs do not consider this business analysis as a measure of how badly they are doing. Instead, they consider the process as an opportunity for clarity, truth-telling, creativity, and action. It’s like having a conversation with a best friend who cares deeply about what happens to you.
What is your best friend telling you?