Swot Analysis Will Do the World of Good; Business Quiz

Article excerpt

Q I OWN a small greeting card shop which I have had for a couple of years now.

I was talking to a friend recently who is studying for a degree in business studies and they asked if I have ever done a Swot analysis. I think I did one when I first started up, but can't really remember what it entailed. Do I need to do one again and if so, how should I go about it?

J P, Knowsley

A Swot stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It's a useful technique which can be used by anyone who intends to start a business or anyone who is already running one. It's simply a way of focusing on the factors which will affect your business. All you need to do is to sit down for a few minutes and focus on the whole of your business.

Analyse the strengths of your business by comparing it with competitors and with other small businesses in your area, looking at the successes you have achieved. Do the same for weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

By doing a regular Swot analysis you will be able to identify the efficiency of your business. It will also give you ideas and thoughts for how you might develop your business (strengths and opportunities) and how you might protect it (weaknesses and threats).

Alan Birkett, investment manager, Merseyside Special Investment Fund

Q I AM a freelance artist and illustrator. I am doing quite well but want to get more business. The nature of what I do means that I spend most of my time working from home alone and I miss having someone to bounce ideas off. …