Posted by: brandextenders | August 27, 2010

SWOT Yourself – Part 2

In my last blog I talked about taking charge of the space you work in to ensure you are being effective and developing a competitive advantage. It’s important to know your strengths as well as your weaknesses and use both to your advantage.

The other two parts of the SWOT analysis are opportunities and threats. Look into your crystal ball to see what areas are ripe for using your skills and talents to build a career and then play the devil’s advocate to determine how you can be knocked off your mountain.

  • Opportunities: If you can see opportunities where others don’t, you’ll find yourself in a unique position to rise to the top. In most industries, opportunities may be six months to one or five years down the road. Are you an expert in a certain industry that would give you an advantage over others? What markets are emerging that may not be lucrative enough yet but soon will be? Look at the last five years to see how far we’ve come. Take your skill set, plan it five or 10 years into the future and see what you come up with. As advanced as the internet seems to us now, where will it take us in five or 10 years? In this section of a SWOT analysis, pretend you are a psychic and try to determine where you think your industry is going and how you can keep up. How can you make the internet work for you? The bottom line here, at least in my mind, is to determine what the cutting edge is and how you’ll stay on top of—if not ahead of—it.
  • Threats: Finally, what black clouds do you see on the horizon that could affect your business? Look at the opportunities section and turn some of those questions around. How could the internet hurt you? What does a more educated customer mean to your business? Will your customers become smarter than you? How has the downturn in our economy affected your business? Obviously, none of us could have predicted 9/11, but this single event changed many of our lives forever and certainly had an effect on most of our businesses. The current downturn won’t last forever, but if it continues for a year or more can you survive and thrive? What can you do within your sphere of influence to cushion the blow? Are you taking classes and keeping up with the newest trends, how will that affect what you do and the type of clients with whom you work?

Although SWOT is a fairly basic tool for looking at your business and career, it can have a profound impact if you’re honest in answering the questions in each category. Remember, information is power, and the more information you can have in determining your future, the better off you’ll be. Take a hard look at your work and determine where your “acres of diamonds” are and how you’re going to take advantage of the opportunities they hold for you—both now and in the future.

There are a myriad of websites you can visit to further investigate SWOT with templates and resources that can help you SWOT yourself and your business. I have no interest in any of these sites other than knowing they have helped me in doing my own SWOT analysis. Good luck and let me know how you do.

http://marketingteacher.com/lesson-store/lesson-swot.html

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/worksheets/SWOTAnalysisWorksheet.pdf

http://sbinformation.about.com/cs/bestpractices/a/swot.htm

With 24 years in promotional marketing, Steve Woodburn works with clients to develop creative and measurable solutions that solve their marketing needs using promotional products, uniform programs, online company stores, point-of-sale initiatives and rewards and recognition. He builds long-term relationships and becomes a trusted advisor and consultant his clients can turn to for all their brand extension needs. You can reach him at: stephen.woodburn@staplespromoproducts.com

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Responses

  1. good post..great share, great article..love to read it


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