SWOT Analysis Is No Magic 8 Ball

Written by Tim Knox

Continued from page 1

Now just fill in each quadrant accordingly. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that affect your business. Opportunities and threats arerepparttar external factors. Let's look at a quick overview of each.

Strengths are those things that make your business stronger. Strengths might include: a product or service that sells well; an established customer base; a good reputation inrepparttar 149039 marketplace; a good track history; a high traffic location; strong management; qualified employees; ownership of patents and trademarks; and any other aspect that adds value to your business and makes it stand out fromrepparttar 149040 competition. Strengths should always be gauged byrepparttar 149041 strengths of your competitors. If your business does something well just to keep up withrepparttar 149042 competition, it is not a strength. It is a necessity.

Weakness arerepparttar 149043 antitheses of strengths. Weaknesses are those areas in which your company does not perform well or could stand improvement. These arerepparttar 149044 areas of your business that make you susceptible to negative market forces and aggressive competitors. Weaknesses might include: poor management; employee problems; lack of marketing and sales expertise; lack of capital; bad location; poor products or services; damaged reputation; etc.

Opportunities are those things that haverepparttar 149045 potential to make your business stronger, more enduring, and more profitable. Opportunities might include: new markets becoming available or old markets that are expanding; possible mergers, acquisitions, or strategic alliances; a competitor going out of business or leavingrepparttar 149046 marketplace, making their customers open to you; andrepparttar 149047 potential availability of a desired employee.

Threats are those things that haverepparttar 149048 potential to adversely affect your business. Threats might include: changing marketplace conditions; rising company debt; cash flow problems; a strong competitor entering your market; competitors with lower prices; possible laws or taxes that may negatively impact your profits; and strategic partners going out of business.

Once you have filled in all four quadrants, you can use this information to create strategies that will help you makerepparttar 149049 best ofrepparttar 149050 information learned. For example, once you have identified your strengths you can better use them to determine which opportunities to pursue and to help reduce your vulnerability to potential threats.

Now that you know your weaknesses you can formulate strategies to overcome them so you can pursue opportunities. Knowing your weaknesses can also help you establish a defensive plan to prevent your weaknesses from making your business particularly susceptible to external threats.

Whether you use a consultant or create a SWOT Analysis on your own it is important to remember that a SWOT Analysis is a subjective analysis tool that can be strongly influenced byrepparttar 149051 opinions of those performingrepparttar 149052 analysis. For small businesses especially it is imperative to keeprepparttar 149053 analysis simple and torepparttar 149054 point. Don't overanalyze and don't immediately takerepparttar 149055 results as gospel.

Remember, it's an analysis tool, not a magic 8 ball.

Here's to your success!

Tim Knox Tim@smallbusinessqa.com

Tim is the founder of DropshipWholesale.net, an online organization dedicated to the success of online and eBay entrepreneurs. Related Links: http://www.30dayblueprint.com http://www.timknox.com

Achievements Outweigh Education And Experience

Written by Tim Knox

Continued from page 1

Many would argue thatrepparttar key to success for most of these ventures was thatrepparttar 149038 founders (orrepparttar 149039 VC financing them) were smart enough to know that while they had an abundance of education, they needed experienced managers to really runrepparttar 149040 show.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were college students when they startedrepparttar 149041 company that would become Google. They were smart enough to bring in Eric Schmidt to be chairman and CEO whenrepparttar 149042 business took off. Schmidt wasrepparttar 149043 former CEO of Novell and CTO of Sun Microsystems. A PhD, Schmidt is a man of education and experience.

Jerry Yang and David Filo were candidates in Electrical Engineering at Stanford when they started YAHOO (Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle) in 1994. They brought in Tim Koogle from Motorola to run things shortly thereafter and nowrepparttar 149044 company is led by Terry Semel, who previously spent 24 years running Warner Bros.

Now on to experience. Is experience a prerequisite of business success? Again, not at all. Many experienced entrepreneurs gained their experience in failed businesses, so experience does not instantly translate to success.

So, when it comes to succeeding in business, which is more important: education or experience? While neither is as helpful as a rich relative, here'srepparttar 149045 answer that will hopefully help me avoid those worms: Both education and experience can play a large part in business success.

The more important question is can you succeed in business without one orrepparttar 149046 other, or even without both? Andrepparttar 149047 answer to that one is: yes. Can I get ketchup with those worms?

Many successful businesses were started by first time entrepreneurs who never went to college. Natural talent, ambition, drive, determination, and good old dumb luck have fueled many success entrepreneurs, myself included. I don't have a degree (I drove past a college once. It looked hard, so I kept going). Would a degree have helped make my business trek easier? Perhaps.

Then again, I know people with advanced degrees who are flipping burgers at McDonalds. It's good experience, I suppose.

A combination of education and experience (and a variety of other things) isrepparttar 149048 best recipe for success. Asrepparttar 149049 old saying goes, "There is no better education than that which comes from experience."

Inrepparttar 149050 end, it really doesn't matter how much education, experience, talent, luck or money you have. It's what you do with it that matters.

Here's to your success.

Tim Knox

Tim is the founder of DropshipWholesale.net, an online organization dedicated to the success of online and eBay entrepreneurs. Related Links: http://www.30dayblueprint.com http://www.timknox.com

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