13.) Identifying Threats and Opportunities


I think everyone is familiar with the SWOT Analysis – a major part of understanding your current situation.


Let’s focus for 59 seconds.  I’m Fred.


Often, the most exhaustive part of a SWOT is the examination of the external environment.  We do this in order to identify the trends that are developing in the world around us.


It’s common to think of this as a snapshot of one moment in time – what is happening RIGHT NOW, that is having some impact.  Taken a step further, a series of snapshots taken at regular intervals – say, every three to four months – will help you spot the trends that appear in the economy, technology, customers and competition.


If your business has been operating successfully in the current environment, pay special attention to ways in which that environment is changing – especially customer buying behaviours and preferences.  When you spot those changes, determine how they are going to affect your business.  Then, create strategies to deal most effectively with them. 


Exploit significant opportunities; counter major threats.


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