Analysis Can Help Business Succeed
November 13, 2011
Business Tips Article
SAN ANGELO, Texas — We have clients come see us at the Small Business Development Center with a business idea with the excitement and energy to get started.
Our goal is to help those clients make that idea a reality.
The excitement and energy about a business idea is understandable. Having your own business is very rewarding.
I like to remind clients that the idea is the easy part. Making it a reality is the challenge.
Many clients do not realize how much work it takes to turn a business idea into reality. That is why we help clients through the process. It can be very time-consuming and yet very productive.
One approach to determine if your business idea is feasible is to develop a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
This approach can quickly help develop a business idea into a possible plan. When evaluating a business idea, it is best to stay objective. Work through a SWOT analysis for your business idea to determine its feasibility.
Why would this business work? List those businesses that are successful in your industry. Study them to determine what makes them successful. Location, customer service and a unique product or service can all be strengths. Other strengths may be years worked in the industry and your business network.
Next, think about the weaknesses of the idea. Focus the strengths and weaknesses on the internal operations of the business. Is there a flaw in the idea? What are the barriers into the market? Is it a product that is expensive to produce, or is the service limited to a particular market? Stay objective as you work through these items. It is important to challenge the idea to make it stronger.
Opportunities and threats are external factors affecting the business. Opportunities are those things in the market that can make your business grow or expand. For example, your business idea may be to be a supplier for a business in the area and that business is growing. Or an area in your community is growing, and there is a location available in that area for your business. Those are opportunities.
Lastly, it is important to understand the threats for the business idea. Threats are those things that are happening in the market that could affect your business, like the economy. Many businesses have been affected by the current economy. It is important to understand how the market, the economy, technology and employment levels can have an impact on your business idea.
By taking the time and energy to focus your business idea, you can save time and money on unfocused or untargeted activities. The value of this approach allows you to rework your business idea or redirect it in a way that can make the business idea even more of a success. Frequently we will have clients become discouraged by the planning process of a business.
However, we would rather have a client work out the issues of a business idea on paper than try to figure out the issues with the doors open. No client wants to hear that their idea needs to be reworked or retooled. The process may delay the opening of the business, but it may make the business a long-term success.
“Business Tips” was written by Cindy Hartin, CEBS Fellow, assistant director and certified business adviser II, of Angelo State University’s Small Business Development Center. Contact her at Cynthia.Hartin@angelo.edu or 325-942-2098.