Swot

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SWOT

Whereas the STEEP model looks at the industry as a whole, SWOT concentrates on your particular business. The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Generally speaking, the first two are internal factors, and the last two external ones; those on the right of the template are positive factors, those on the left, negative.

As above, the following diagram suggests some of the issues that may be significant, but as this is a personal analysis, only you will be able to specify the details. For the results to be meaningful, you have to be brutally honest about your business – remember that no one else needs to read it!

Potential Issues

Strengths

Strong market position; niche market; successful advertising campaign; effective management procedures; regular financial monitoring; well trained staff; location of premises; good market research; suitable pricing policy; reliable suppliers

Weaknesses

Accounts not up to date; cash flow problems; over/under pricing; not enough customers; business is seasonal; skills shortage; lack of adequate publicity; publicity not reaching right clients; poor market information; working too many hours

Opportunities

New funding streams; new clients; market expansion; free business support; free training; Internet marketing and sales; attending exhibitions; networking

Threats

Strong competitors with lower prices; general economic decline means clients reprioritise leisure spending; new competitor in market; product/service no longer ‘trendy’; new legislation will require investment

Using the template below, do your SWOT analysis by writing a comment about each relevant issue, thus identifying the key points and summarising the current status of your business.

Action Plan

Next, using each of the relevant issues you have identified, draw up an action plan, listing what you can do to:

Reduce or eliminate weaknesses, making some into strengths...
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