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How do I assess the strengths and weaknesses of my business?

Sunday, 29 August 2010 | By James Thomson

One of the most common methods of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your business is to conduct a SWOT analysis, where SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

 

 

Strengths

Essentially, this defines your company’s competitive advantage. Some questions to answer include:

  • What does your business do well?
  • What resources do you have access to (human, financial, intellectual property)?
  • What are you known for in the market?
  • What is it about your business that your competitors cannot match?


Weaknesses

This looks at the areas where you and your business need to improve. Some questions to answer include:

  • What doesn’t your company do well?
  • What don’t customers like about your products or service?
  • Where are the pressure points in your business?
  • What do competitors do better than you? 

 

Opportunities

This sets out the areas where you could grow your business in the future. Some questions to answer include:

  • What are the trends in your industry that could create opportunities (technology, demographic or social changes, regulation)?
  • What new products do your customers need?
  • What products would complement your current offering?
  • What geographic areas could you target?


Threats

These are external and internal factors that could create problems for your business. Some questions to answer include:

  • Do you lack the resources to grow your business?
  • Are your competitors threatening your business in any way?
  • Are industry trends such as changing technology or regulations a threat to your business?
  • Are you vulnerable to an economic downturn or other economic changes?