Doing a SWOT analysis as a Bootstrapping Young Entreprenuer - Once I have completed, what should the next step be?
I am striving to move forward as a LLC from a Sole Proprietor in 2015. Have been developing the blueprint and planning phases of my business for franchising, future investing, etc. I am done with my SWOT analysis - what should I do afterward?
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I think this has been said, but SWOT assumes you have a Structure in place. If you are a Solo Operator, it won't really help you. I have worked with a lot of young Companies on their way up. It is more about Business Planning, and depending on what you sell, it can be on a time Horizon of 1 to 3 years. It is hard for me to say what approach to recommend not knowing your business.
There are some great and some freighting responses listed here already, I believe you should not worry to much and keep practicing with the analytic and strategic tools to determine your position in the business arena.
I for one like to run the "Porter Five Forces" analyses, which could use your SWOT outcomes at input and will force you to think thoroughly how and where you want to compete with your business.
I hope this helps you to move the next stage.
Congratulations on doing a SWOT analysis! So many business owners don't ever check out their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Now, that you have some idea of where you are my first question is to ask, "How does that feel?" Did it confirm what you thought? Was it different? Have you considered all factors? Are you being honest with your assessment? Asking these questions is the first place to stepping into your position or stepping away from it. If you don't like where you are, do you know why you're there? Now, what your marketing doing to create your brand position based on these factors? I'd need to know more to be able to guide you further, but just taking a look at a SWOT analysis is an amazing start to getting you honestly evaluating your business relative to your current environment. Remember,a SWOT analysis should be done frequently especially if you're doing a lot of personal growth and your industry is evolving. To your Sweet Success!
More information is needed to clarify what you need to achieve with SWOT.
Different analysis apply to different aims.
For example you might need to do PEST but not SWOT.
SWOT is part of internal analysis. You must do both internal as well as external analysis. Once finished, you move on to defining your SMART objectives and long-term/short-term strategies.
Alex - may I humbly suggest that before you even start walking down the path of all those wonderful academic models being suggested; you do something incredibly simple and extremely informative.
I take it that in asking your question in the first place you are not an experienced business manager and that in itself may imply that there may be additional information, thoughts, knowledge etc that can be added to your SWOT analysis.
SWOT is a fantastic tool for establishing exactly what it sets out to do irrespective of the age or function of a business or product but if you have undertaken this process on your own, the results will be limited by the breadth and depth of your own experience and imagination - find a good friend; friends or an experienced business manager or coach to gain a broader understanding of you proposal and market place to add value; insight and challenge your assumptions and beliefs - genuine managers and coaches will undoubtedly help you for free to complete this first and essential step.
I wish you the very best of success with your venture but please find someone who can effectively challenge your SWOT assumptions and add value to your hypothesis
There is a well-defined purpose for conducting a SWAT analysis and many good reasons why you should never attempt one alone. In fact if you consider a SWAT in isolation, you have already identified your first two entries under W & T!
A SWAT is of most use when applied to an existing business plan or model, therefore ensure you have a plan drafted, as only then will you have something tangible to analyse.
Review the purpose of a SWAT up front then you will know exactly the reasons you are planning one, then gather some reliable, talented and business savvy individuals whose opinions you admire and trust, after making certain all participants understand your plan redo your SWAT. Then you will have accurately answered your own question.
The first thing I would do is Register the company with the appropriate authorities. The LLC is very important because you need to protect your assets. The last thing you need is to have your corporate veil pierced because you fail to follow the correct process.
The next item is equally important and that is building your team, this is where all the planning in the world will fail if you don't have a good team in place. You can't do it all yourself.
I don't want to assume you have completed a business plan, conduct a proper market research analysis. Know the trends, forecasts,developments, opportunities risks and competitors.Decide whether you will pursue this venture full-time or part-time, after that outline a monthly budget. Your bills don't stop coming when you start a business, they just doubled. So having a solid plan in place for your bill at home is a must. Remember most start-up fail because of bad planning, I can't mention this often enough, that the lack of funding will derail your plans in a matter of months. Find investors , consult with your local bank or find a FINANCIAL ADVISOR.
Become familiar with regulations and compliance requirements for your start-up
Again I don't want to assume anything, obtain business licenses and permits; after your formation is in place and you've obtain your EIN number. Obtain the company contact information: telephone and fax numbers, email and postal address. Open up a merchant bank account (keep your money separated). Find a business insurance and a good tax advisor. The last but certainly not least is the location.
I'm sure you will do you homework , and every start-up has it's challenges; just stay positive and surround yourself with good people and everthing will be fine.
This may sound a bit harsh but please take this as an observation meant to help.
SWOT is a technique used in more "mature" businesses. Do you have a going/growing business now? I'm not seeing much evidence on the web.
More importantly, your quesiton implies you really not clear on why you are engaging in the SWOT exercise to begin with. Marture businesses use SWOT to assess situational gaps and acquire/apply resources to meet their mission and goals. I'd suggest you find a good busines coach and start developing a business model and test viability before getting too deep with this vein of analytics.
Personal note, I don't believe: "You determine your own fate!" as your web site espouses.
You are born, raised, and live in a social context that is far more the determining factor of your world view and behavior than you can see or even suspect. On the business side, realizing that your don't "make your success" without a market is important because you manifest change as a business through an understanding of "other's" wants and desires, engineering profitable interactions, and...a bit of luck.