SWOT

Your market research should have created a picture of both the competition and market place.

Against that background you can now creative a framework under these headings, from both your's and your clients’ viewpoint, of the key strengths and weaknesses your company has, as well as threats or opportunities. This overview will summarise the key elements of your marketing strategy, enabling you to adapt either your offering or marketing, or both.

By listing only elements that will have a substantial impact on your company’s position, a clear overview should develop quite quickly from this process. Being realistic about your weaknesses and threats at this stage will enable you to strengthen those areas or perhaps even change direction at an early stage. Try to keep a positive mindset while defining these two elements as you may be able to minimise or eliminate disadvantages, or even turn a negative aspect into a positive.

Carrying out a SWOT analysis is not just for new companies; those entering a new market will find equal benefit and a regular SWOT analysis could form part of annual ‘health check’ of your company.

Included within the SWOT framework:

  • Strengths - what you do well and what are the positive aspects of your product? What makes you or your product better than other offerings in the market place?
  • Weaknesses - what lets your business down? How can you reduce or eliminate these?
  • Opportunities - are there any new openings in the market? How much time or resources would it take to open these areas?
  • Threats - what factors could harm your business?

Every freelancer has different key strengths and weaknesses, but examples might be:

Strengths:

Proficient in a specialised skill

Your Unique Selling Point

Innovative in some way

Can service client remotely from home

Superior quality/added value service

Latest technology/software

Any accreditations/qualifications

Weaknesses:

Lack of reputation

No prospect contact list

Limited in service you can offer in some way

Lack of ‘in house’ facilities or technology

Opportunities:

New trends/developments in marketplace

Competitor vulnerabilities

Seasonal: Christmas or other calendar event related work

New business park occupants

Threats:

Legislative changes

Competitor innovation/advancement

Lack of market demand

Skill training/prohibitive software costs


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