Determine Where You Want to Go Next (…by developing a strong business strategy)
Today’s article will take a deep dive into taking a different view of your business. Are you familiar with the acronym SWOT? A SWOT analysis is an absolute must for every business serious about maintaining a solid foundation of growth. It stands for:
…and each is used to develop a strategic plan for your business.
Small businesses widely use this technique. Have you used this technique in your window or pressure washing business? The answers you come up with after the analysis may astound you. It is a powerful tool to help identify competitive opportunities for improvement for your team and business while staying ahead of market trends.
Tip: Conduct a SWOT Analysis every year.
Strengths are the internal, positive attributes of your business. These things are in your control and can be used in other areas that need additional support.
When looking at the strengths of your business, give yourself (and your leadership team) this exercise and answer these questions in the space provided:
- What do we do well? What do we do best?
- What makes our business stand out against our competitors?
- What does our target market like about us?
- What advantages do we have over our competition?
When you understand what areas are helping your business, you can see what’s already working.
Weaknesses refer to underperforming areas of your business. Like your outside perception (how others see you), your business’ inner reality (the internal mechanics of your business–like systems), and your competitor comparisons. To create the baseline of your SWOT analysis, evaluate your strengths first, then your weaknesses.
You can identify your business weaknesses by answering the following:
- Where are you underperforming, and why?
- What business systems need improvement?
- What resources could improve your business?
- How do we rank in all areas against our competitors?
Examine each and put a priority list together to tackle and strengthen your weaknesses. If you have any questions on this, reach out to me.
Opportunities are external factors in your business environment that can contribute to your success.
Since there are multiple ways to come up with opportunities, answer these questions below before getting started:
- How can we improve on your weaknesses?
- Are there market gaps in your service offerings?
- What are your business goals and targets for the next 12 months?
- What do your competitors offer that we don’t?
…in my business, we do a thorough competitor analysis every 18 months, which has been hugely instrumental in us rising to the top.
Spotting opportunities can make a big difference to your business’s ability to compete and take the lead in your market.
These are the areas with the potential to cause problems, hold your company’s growth back, or even external factors you don’t have much control over. They can include anything from a “cancer-causing” employee, to a national pandemic, to a change in the competitive landscape.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to identify internal and external threats:
- What changes in the industry are cause for concern?
- What new market trends are on the horizon?
- Where and how are your competitors outperforming us?
- What is happening internally inside your business that is a cause for concern?
It’s vital to anticipate threats and take action against them so your growth continues and does not stall.
A SWOT analysis should be done annually. We do it every January at my company Squeegee Pros, here in NC. Two things always occur at these meetings.
- We find areas of growth for improvement.
- It makes for an excellent overview of our business performance.
While a SWOT analysis is similar to a competitive analysis, it differs because it evaluates both internal and external factors. And for many companies, there is just as much concern internally as there is externally.
In January, to start 2023, my company had its first leadership meeting for the year. It was 9 hours long. It included our SWOT analysis, competitive analysis, goal and target setting, P&L review, analytics review, and so much more. We conduct this meeting every quarter.
This is the stuff me and my coaching clients stay focused on. And boy, does it make a positive difference in growth. It will do the same for you!
Stuck on something? Need a question answered?
Schedule a free coaching call with me here: Calendly.com/JimDuBois/20-minute
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Jim DuBois is founder of Squeegee Pros, Inc. out of Mooresville, NC and is the creator of WindowWashingWealth.com. Visit the site for my latest book, “How To Build a Dream Window Cleaning Business in Record Time.” Have questions about this article? Schedule a call with me above.