Editor’s note: Michelle Stockman works with Little Rock-based Arkansas Capital Corp. to promote entrepreneurship development around the state. Stockman earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University-Chicago in communications and fine arts, and earned a master’s in entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University. Her thoughts on business success appear each week on The City Wire.
One of the finest tools handed down to all businesses through the brilliance of academic MBA’s is the SWOT analysis. SWOT — meaning Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats — are four core areas that businesses should evaluate from time to time.
Like understanding changes in the market place, SWOT analysis will allow a business owner to get a quick snapshot of the business and business world around them. One trap of SWOT analysis is (as suggest by Mike Masnick with Techdirt) is that most business owners view the listed opportunities and threats as separate.
Entrepreneurs are individuals who create opportunity by creating resources that are not readily available to them. In other words, Entrepreneurs are creative and innovative and utilize the byproduct of that to create wealth generating opportunities. So in viewing the SWOT analysis, businesses need to change their mindset on how they view threats and opportunities.
Rather than reacting out of fear for the threats that face your business, view them as opportunities. What can be done in regards to the threats? How can we change those threats and what opportunities do we have already to utilize?
If you think you can’t change the way business has “always been done,” think again. It is usually the ones who are able to take the greater risk in changing the “game” that see the highest rewards. The road is not easy, but it is full of opportunity.
Stockman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org