We’re continuing today with the SWOT analysis.

We have talked about strengths. We have talked about weaknesses in the business.

Today I’m going to talk about opportunities, so that is the third quadrant, and we’re looking at opportunities in the marketplace. This is a really key thing to do because obviously, it’s important to know what trends there are. It’s important to know what needs there are from customers, and it’s important to know what the opportunities are for your business. So how you fill in this quadrant, or how you think about this is what is missing in our market? What openings are there in the market? What could you do better than your competitors? Opportunities depend upon external factors, so it’s things like looking at what are the growing trends in your sector. Is there a growing trend for what you offer, for example. Are there any changes in government legislation that might affect you in a good way. That would obviously be an opportunity.

Is there growing interest or support for your particular product? Are you in a sector with few competitors? Is there an emerging need for your product or service?

Here it’s very much thinking about the opportunities within the marketplace that’s outside of your business. So this is where it’s really important to have done your competitive research because you can see what you could do better than a competitor or what you could create that a competitor isn’t creating at the moment, or what are the opportunities to really stand out and differentiate yourself.  To take advantage of any new trends that are occurring. So, have a think about those. Have a think about whether any of the questions that I just asked now resonate with you, and then put those into your third quadrant.

I’ve done two SWOTS today, which is quite unusual for me. I normally only see one client a day. But this morning, I was working with one of my clients I’ve been with for over a year, and we were doing an end of year review and looking at their SWOT analysis and comparing it to this time last year. And it was really, really good to see that a lot of the weaknesses that we’d identified we’d managed to sort out and they were no longer weaknesses. So that was really fantastic.
And we just reviewed the opportunities, and obviously, you know a year on there are new opportunities. There are new trends in the market, and so we could add those into the SWOT analysis. We also looked at the strengths, and we realized that there had been some additional strengths to add in as well, so that was fantastic.

Then the second SWOT of the day was with a new client. I always do a SWOT analysis with a new client. It helps me to get to know them, and from doing that SWOT, we can look at what are the critical things that we need to focus on for the business going forward. So, we’re nearly there with the SWOT. You’ve done your strengths, weaknesses. Today was the external opportunities in the market, and tomorrow we’re going to finish off with threats. And then I will give you a bit of advice about what we can do with your SWOT.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little series. I know it does sound boring, but when you do a SWOT, it really is enlightening, and I think it’s one of the most important things you can do for your business. So have a fantastic day, and I’ll catch you tomorrow for the last final bit to do our threats.