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Tips for Finding Strengths and Weaknesses in Your Business

Want to grow your business? Find its strengths and weaknesses and you will be off to a terrific beginning to understand your company’s marketing foundation.

 Fortunately, we’ve got some great ways to help you get started.

In a previous post, we talked about looking at the competitive differentiation that you really need to stand out from the crowd. 

But to do that well, you need to understand where your business is at this moment in time.  And, the first thing you need to do is a SWOT analysis. 

What is a SWOT?  It is: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

In this post, we are going to be looking at strengths and weaknesses and helping you figure out what they are.

The strengths and weaknesses of your business are the internal factors that affect your SMB.  In short, they are things about your business that you control. 

Think about things like your sources of revenue, your location and the facility, your employees, and your employee programs and software systems.

Opportunities and threats, which we’ll talk about in another post, are the external factors that affect your business and are out of your control even though you may be aware of them.

Who Should Be Involved?

Quite often a SWOT analysis is done by top leadership of a company to help them set goals for the company.  But if you aren’t involving your employees or key stakeholders, you may be missing some really important information. 

If your company has just a few employees, you may be able to get some feedback in one or two meetings.  But if you have a larger staff, you can still get information from surveys, focus groups or even having managers solicit feedback from their departments.

Why You Should Look at Your Strengths and Weaknesses

You absolutely must understand what your business does well and does not do well before you can make any decisions on growing the business.  

Specifically, the SWOT framework helps you to: 

  • build on what you do well (strengths)
  • address what and where your business is lacking (weaknesses)
  • take advantage of possibilities for success (opportunities)
  • understand threats to minimize risks (threats)

And remember, there are a lot of competitors out there who understand what they are–and are not–good at and are likely using this information  to grow their businesses.

And so should you.

How to Get Started Finding Strengths and Weaknesses

Here are some questions to get you started::

  1. What aspects of your business come most naturally for you or your team?
  2. What does your business do really well?
  3. Which of these things do your customers say you do really well?
  4. What is distracting you from achieving your goals?
  5. Do you have some skills/technology are you missing/what gaps are within your marketing foundation?
  6. What objections/feedback do you most often hear from prospects/clients?

Your Strengths are Your Superpowers

Listing out your strengths is not the time to be shy. Celebrate and share those superpowers!! They are qualities that allow you to be successful in your business.

And while you don’t need to list hundreds of things, try to find around 10 things that you and your company do well. You can do a few more or a few less if necessary.

Is your product high quality? Have you got a loyal customer base? Do you have a large market share? Are you a leader in innovation? Do you have a high level of integrity and reliability??  Get it all down, but make sure the strengths are things that are data-driven and can be proven.  

You can also think about qualities that you or your employees might have, like creativity, enthusiasm or discipline. 

Use Your Weaknesses to Your Advantage

No one loves to focus on their weaknesses, but it’s important to look at this part of the process as providing you with vital information. Weaknesses are the things that stop you from being more successful or reaching your goals. Again, try to list about 10.

If you are really stumped on your weaknesses, try looking at your strengths and seeing if you can also claim the opposite. 

So, perhaps you are good at getting in new sales leads, but have not done a great job of retaining your current customers.  That is great, you’ve found a key weakness!  This will give you an idea of what you need to include in your business strategy.

The Next Steps

First of all, you want to make sure that you capture your list of strengths and weaknesses and share it with your team so it can be revisited as needed. Check out this video that explains how a SWOT analysis of Starbucks could progress.  For an international company, the analysis is simple and actionable.

Even if you aren’t a designer, you can create a visual to review and use for your next step in the SWOT when you look at external factors:  opportunities and threats. Neil Patel suggests this SWOT analysis generator.

You’ve taken a huge step by starting to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Simply by getting these down in writing you will be in a better position to create your marketing foundation for growth.  You’ll be able to begin planning your strategic roadmap, determining business goals and the best ways to execute your strategy.

If you are interested in getting more information about how well your business has covered all the bases for a strong foundational marketing plan, think about taking our free quiz to get instant results from our team of experts at Tomato Fish.  And if you want to know more, schedule a free 15-minute call to get you started in the right direction.

Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions.