In this episode of the Better Business Coach podcast, I explain the importance of and how to use the third FREE worksheet I give away, available for download at http://matthewpollard.com/bbc020. This worksheet follows shortly after the “Where Is Your Business Now?” worksheet, explained in session 13, and should be completed as part of your first paid client session.
You will also find SWOT helpful when creating SMART business goals, as outlined in session 17. SWOT will really help your client understand if the goals they are setting themselves are achievable for their organization, or if they should be increased/reduced to better motivate and drive the organization to a higher or more realistic target.
The SWOT analysis is a coaching tool that is too often undervalued, generally conducted once in every coach’s initial meeting and then put in the drawer never to be seen again.
To me, the SWOT analysis is one of the most important documents in niche marketing and in ensuring business longevity. I believe the SWOT analysis should be conducted every six months and be viewed as an organizational insurance policy. By doing this, an organization will make sure it is best positioned against threats that are looming on the horizon and best placed to capitalize on any potential opportunities that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.
So let’s have a closer look at SWOT
Strengths and weaknesses
Here you encourage your client to look inward for strengths and weaknesses within their organization. Good examples of items that may lie on either the strength or weakness side of a SWOT analysis for any organisation may be:
- Customer base
These items are all internal to the organization. This means that if they’re currently a weakness, the business is in complete control of the weaknesses rectification.
Opportunities and threats
These effect a business, however, are outside (external) to a business’ direct control. While a business can’t directly change external opportunities or threats, knowing what they are still allows a business to be in the driver’s seat. Knowing about potential opportunities and threats gives the organization a real advantage over their opposition who are instead affected by a change as it occurs, or are confronted by others exploiting an opportunity they never saw coming.
So how do you know what opportunities and threats to look for?
I suggest the use of an analysis commonly known as “PEST”
- Political – Changes in government policy, political climate, laws, funding, grants, zoning, etc.
- Economic – Consumer confidence, currency fluctuations, international downturns, interest rate variations, etc.
- Social – Opinions, pressures, thinking, values, etc.
- Technological – New, obsolete, evolving, etc.
Synergies and niche markets
Once you have all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats on the table, it is time to look for synergies that would allow you to capitalize on new niche markets, as well as potential weaknesses that if not rectified may lead to adverse effects. To achieve this, ask yourself/your client the following:
- What strengths could give you/your client a unique advantage when attempting to capitalize on any of the listed opportunities?
- What strengths could you/your client easily obtain to capitalize on any of the opportunities uncovered?
- What weaknesses, unless rectified, could put you/your client at a potential disadvantage?
- What potential threats in your industry could you/your client turn into an advantage?
So is SWOT a static or dynamic document?
SWOT can be transformed from a static document to a dynamic one by creating the following table:
Column 1 – List your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats down a page
Column 2 – List the implications and possible synergies of each item listed in column one
Column 3 – List the indicated action to avoid or capitalize on each listed implication or synergy
Column 4 – List the resource requirement to complete the indicated action
Column 5 – List the opportunity cost of taking this action, i.e. what you are giving up/sacrificing such as time or money that could be used elsewhere. Also list the opportunity cost of not taking action, i.e. you could go broke, lose market share, or lose your current competitor advantage.
Make a decision to proceed or not to proceed with your indicated action.
If you decide to proceed with any indicated action(s), form a SMART goal as discussed in session 17 to best ensure successful completion.
Keep me in the loop:
I would love to hear how you’re currently using the SWOT analysis and how you will now change this. Please take a second to post a comment in the comment section below.
Download the “SWOT Analysis” worksheet!
- BBC 013 : Second FREE Worksheet – Where Is Your Business Now
- BBC 017 : Forget About Goals – Why Is The Key To Success
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I can’t wait to share this content with you; it’s going to make such a difference in your business coaching business. I am really looking forward to hearing the stories of success that you have with your clients.
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I look forward to spending the next sessions with you helping you to make the best business coaching business that you could possibly have.
To find out more about me or the show, feel free to check out:
My profile – http://matthewpollard.com/aboutmatthewpollard
The full show write-up – http://betterbusinesscoachpodcast.com
Better Business Coach Transcript
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