Guarantee Your Success with This Strategic Planning Tool
Here’s a little piece of business wisdom that may or may not surprise you:
The freedom, lifestyle and income you’ve always dreamed about depend upon you. It depends upon your patience and it depends upon your planning.
In his 2001 book The 7 Keys to Marketing Genius marketing consultant Michael Daehn, writes:
Many marketing books jump right into the promotion process where instructions on how to broadcast the marketing message are described in detail. The problem with that approach is that if you are sending out the wrong message, it will not only be ineffective but counterproductive.
That’s why it’s so important to create a sound strategy before you start the promotion process. Whether you employ new social media or stick to flagging classified ads or build a sales letter campaign from the ground up…
You need to analyze. You need to plan first.
A SWOT analysis will help you do that.
A SWOT Analysis, is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a business venture.
A SWOT is about defining your advantage over the competition. The questions you have to ask yourself are:
- What do I do better than anyone else in my market?
- What can I do that my competition can’t do?
- What will separate me from my pack?
A simple SWOT analysis will help you find out what you do best. And it will give you the road map to a predictable and profitable business that will last for decades.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Gather all stakeholders.
Since you are an individual contractor you are in a way defining your individual strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
But it may be helpful to you involve your spouse or a business partner or your broker. Someone who can help you see the things you can’t see.
This is especially helpful when speaking of weaknesses and threats, but sometimes people are so low on themselves they need help to see what they are really good at.
2. Focus on the strengths.
Hammer out all of the positive elements you can think of : education, experience, connections, knowledge.
This is important: Devote enough quiet time. Clear a day or a weekend. Get alone and discover what it is you are really good at. This is important that you get this right.
3. Dig deep and consider your weaknesses.
Even the brightest, most educated, highly successful individual has weaknesses. Find them.
But remember this about weaknesses: when it comes time to work on your weaknesses, only work on those that can damage your life or career.
Habitual drinking or a fear of confronting people are two weakness that could quickly destroy your hopes of success.
Work on these but ignore the benign weaknesses…otherwise you spend all your time on your weaknesses and not your strengths.
4. Evaluate the opportunities in your market.
Unlike strengths and weaknesses, opportunities are outside your influence. You merely exploit them.
For example, perhaps you identify a segment of your market that is not being serviced appropriately AND you have some well-connected people who can help you reach this segment.
This is a huge opportunity for you. Seize it.
5. Discover the threats in your market.
Threats can kill you. That’s why you must pay attention to them.
A threat could be monster brokerage house that systematically mows down competition. You need to realize this and figure out what to do about it. Otherwise you’ll be bankrupt and blue in less than a year.
Or a threat could be a cooling market. You need to identify this and ask yourself the question: is this the best time to go into real estate?
And remember: Be honest during this entire process. The freedom, lifestyle and income you’ve always dreamed about depend upon it.
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I’m famous! Thanks for the quote.
Finding your advantage is THE first thing any business person should do. It sets the direction for all of your sales and marketing.
If you don’t know what you are best at and why you are better than your competition, how can you explain it to your customers?