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13Jun 2014

May is a Great Month

May is a great month to undertake a situation analysis for your business

At Tactix we place a lot of emphasis in our plans looking at where our client companies are now before creating our recommendations for growth. In our plans we delve into several areas including distribution, purchase decision making, pricing, communications etc.

Once we have this information we consolidate it into a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Whilst this is marketing language it is a helpful tool for non-marketers too.

Helpful Harmful
Internal Strengths Weaknesses
External Opportunities Threats

Our preference is starting with a clear piece of paper or blank whiteboard rather than a computer as we’ve heard that there is
better engagement in the brain when handwriting. The secret here is to just get started, you can always prioritise the items you come up with or remove some later on.

Because we’re positive people we like to start with strengths first, the things that our client companies are doing well – these are things to continue to develop to make us stand out from the competition. We’ve populated the grid below with suggestions to get you started. Next we look at weaknesses, things that need addressing and may be hindering our goals. Remember both strengths and weaknesses are internal to your organisation, but may be things that you are doing better or worse than your competitors.

Opportunities may come from the weaknesses identified above or you may like to note down ideas that have been bubbling around for a while. This is where you can note down a whole raft of ideas, things that may not get resource or priority for years – you can structure these ideas and funnel them later on. Remember go for volume here in the first instance!

Finally it’s time to look at threats, and be honest with these – camera film manufacturers should not have been surprised by
movement to digital.

Helpful Harmful
Internal Strengths

  • well priced
  • unique product
  • excellent customer service
  • good product knowledge
  • good system software
  • etc

  • dependent on only one customer
  • unique product
  • lack of depth across sales team
  • ongoing out of stocks
  • etc
External Opportunities

  • investigate the Australian market
  • launch another colour or flavour variant
  • find a new accounting partner
  • join a networking group
  • sell the business
  • move premises to somewhere with more foot traffic
  • ensure the website is aligned with business goals
  • investigate how a Facebook page can work for our business
  • put through a price rise to our customers
  • look for cheaper packaging
  • etc

  • changing government regulations
  • customers dying off (it happens!)
  • product range going out of fashion
  • competitor decreasing price
  • change in eating habits – healthier options
  • preference for NZ made
  • new entrant into the market
  • etc

We’ve now created a draft list as above. Go back and add additional opportunities now that you have identified weaknesses, this will stop them getting lost. Don’t funnel the ideas yet, keep adding to them over the next few days.

A few days later, when you’re ready to prioritise we suggest most emphasis should go into funnelling the opportunities as they’re most closely aligned to growth. You could use this time management grid to do this.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on! And if you do need some professional help or fresh thinking give me a call on (09) 215 7585.
All the best,
Nicole Crump

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