You may be familiar with the term SWOT Analysis. It stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a well-documented method for analysing your competition.
If you want to win this year’s Tour de Profit, you can’t do it with your head planted in the sand. And you definitely can’t do it by looking only at your business and at yourself in the mirror. You must know where you stand RELATIVE to your competition. A SWOT Analysis will help put your business into perspective.
Doing a SWOT Analysis is very simple.
Take 4 sheets of paper and on each one write one of the following –
- My Strengths
- My Weaknesses
- My Opportunities
- My Threats
Then observe and gather information about your main competitors. Put your thoughts on these pages. Be candid with yourself. This is not about getting a score or being evaluated. You are going to use this to give yourself the advantage. But first you must collect the data and fill in the pages.
Then, once you have your four pages filled with notes, here is where the magic happens.
Take your Strengths page and your Opportunities page, put them side by side. Ask yourself “What could I do to use my strengths to take advantage of my opportunities?”
Make a list of the things you could do to “leverage” your strengths. Figure out how to make these specifically targeted at the opportunities. Your competition has offered opportunities to you. You need to look at what these might be.
Next, take your Weaknesses page and your Threats page, put them side by side. Ask yourself “What must I do right now to shore up my weaknesses? How should I defend my business against possible threats?” There may be one or two critical things you must do now to cover your flank.
These last two exercises are the ones that most fail to do.
They list the SWOT Analysis. Tick. They put it in a strategy book. Tick. But they never do anything with it until the next year when the pull it out, dust it off and do it again. Ouch!
If you want to win you must TAKE ACTION on your SWOT analysis!