In my position, invariably as some organisation comes up with an idea that they want use of our point of sale software the second person I meet after the organiser is the consultant and the first thing that this consultant wants to do is a SWOT analysis.
It has become the framework for thought for business today in Australia.
What makes it so powerful, is that it is easy to do once you get the hang of it, in groups. Although it works well, I find just with one person.
It works great on a whiteboard but you can also put a big white cardboard on the wall for people to write on.
What you do is get a few people together to look at your retail business.
Here’s how it goes:
On the top left is Strengths
Here you list your good points where you have edge e.g. you have a better range of stock. You have better trade knowledge, faster service, a good location, etc
Now you think up points that you are weak. These are your problem areas, eg your prices are a bit dearer on certain items, people going to the station do not pass your shop, the front of the shop needs work, your hours are not as good as your competitors, etc.
This is where you list what you see is the growth areas in your business. Maybe you could put in a coffee machine, maybe increase your educational range, etc. List here where your business could go?
Threats/problems you face.
Here you list what problems and difficulties you see in your business, e.g. salaries costs are so high now, that staff has to be cut, pet food prices here are dropping, magazine sales are down, a shopfit has to be done, but the cost is prohibitive, etc
So here it is:
How you have filled in the board, you have something that a business consultant would charge you several thousand dollars. I am sure you will have much to think about this board.
I have clients that every year, do this to see how they are going. I do it for almost every new business idea, I get.
Now make it happen for you
If you want to do this, here are some blank templates to start you off