SWOT's up, doc? Finding your business strengths
Updated: Nov 10
The remaining two things that I consider when taking on any new client for small business marketing are a customer cheat sheet (always), and a SWOT analysis (I roll this out as and when needed). Before you read this, you definitely should read parts one and two of what I do to define your brand proposition properly.
This post is about finding your business strengths and looking at them from a practical view.
First of all - cheating helps me out
Where a brand proposition finds out the emotional and purchasing levers of a business - the reasons to believe - the cheat sheet is the same thing from a practical point of view. What services do you offer? What are your price points? Where do you operate? What certifications do you have? These are the things I need to know and understand in order to write Facebook posts, website copy, flyers and strategy documents so I not only sound credible on your behalf but also don't need to continuously ask you what to say - after all you are paying for a managed marketing service. This sort of customer insight is crucial.
SWOT's up, Doc?
A SWOT analysis looks at four things affecting your business in a bit more depth, generally I use it for consultancy work or if someone needs a real leg up in getting their promotion sorted. SWOTs are also a really good starting point for doing some competitor research.
Let's take a look at one - I'll SWOT my business as an example
Strengths - the first think to look at in a SWOT analysis, what are the real power points of your business? What do you do better than everyone else? You can have as many as you like, just make sure they all really earn their place in there.
1) I'm an all round Chartered Marketer, so my sixteen years of experience is pretty broad across print, digital as well as event marketing and PR.The Chartership gives clients a guarantee of quality. That's definitely a strength.
2) I've got lots of experience of running social media, and managing and building websites - which is why I started mihu in the first place, my knowledge of this part of marketing is definitely one of my strengths, and it's also what I enjoy.
3) Pricing. My price structure is pitched at a level that small business can afford, and i know this because I asked potentials before I set them. The levels work and the quality is evident in the results.
Weaknesses - an honest assessment of where your operation needs to improve, the only way to build on a weak part of the chain is to admit it is there.
1) I'm a small fish in a big pond - and I've just transitioned from working in-house so I'm bound to make some mistakes along the way. Luckily with 17 years of experience they should be small, and of course learning experiences.
2) I don't post content on here regularly enough. It's important to practice what you preach so I need to really be blogging at least weekly to not only keep people interested but also to keep Google entertained with my Search Engine Optimisation.
Opportunities - what are you not doing that you could be, and be doing it really well? Are there customers you aren't reaching, or services you could be offering? 1) My whole product range is aimed at affordable marketing for small business, but in future I hope to offer more consultancy work - marketing strategy is something I excel at, as well as brand positioning and I'm very good with systems, so this is a more meaty service I can and should be offering.
2) Offering services to smaller membership bodies is something I would be good at. I've worked extensively in membership, and there are hundreds of small ones who need website and marketing support but who don't have the funds for large agency fees.
Threats - every business has these: this can include the competition, market forces that could affect pricing, a looming recession (some would say) or political problems.
1) Competition is the biggest one here - there are thousands of people doing what I do and doing it really well. How do I stand out in that crowd?
2) Price sensitivity - the online world is a wonderous one, but also can result in a race to the bottom for pricing. How do I keep myself true to the quality I produce when others are offering it faster and cheaper (but I would say not as well executed). So that's that - you can do a SWOT yourself and if you haven't, give it a whirl. I've found doing these with my small business clients to be an eye opener. They bring out such a wealth of information which gives me the power to run with your marketing for you and leave you to worry about your day job.
Let me know what you think of the above, or contact me if you need some help or just want to find out more about what low cost managed marketing can do for your small business