Threats – The Big T In SWOT Analysis

Threats, the evaluation of them are crucial to your ability to start, maintain, and expand operations of your business.  One of the quickest ways to go OUT of business is to not take them seriously.

I write a lot about SWOT Analysis.  It is, literally, one of the base aspects of marketing, and business.  For those of you who do not know what it is, here is a brief excerpt from Wikipedia:

  • Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others
  • Weaknesses: characteristics that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others
  • Opportunities: elements in the environment that the business or project could exploit to its advantage
  • Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project

This concept – and a base understanding of it – is so important that if you have never applied it I would highly recommend you not use the word marketer in your resume.

No, this is not going to be a marketing 101 class.  There are many resources available online that will give a much better (and a lot more PC) understanding of this.  Today I am focusing on Threats, and THIS, my dear readers, is a quasi-rant!

 

Threats come in all sizes, shapes, and manners.  Dramatic ones, such as Government Regulations, that can take you from a promising startup to bankrupt in a fortnight (I know, this happened to me once).  Obvious ones – funding needs, hackers, malicious intent – and the like.  Then there are the devious ones we see, but choose, for a plethora of reasons, not to address.

It is this last group that has, with the possible exception of funding, caused far more businesses to fail than any other.

I fully understand the problems involved developing a business, marketing, and advertising plan.  Asking the needed questions, and then implementing the sometimes difficult decisions, can be hard.  However, no one ever said being in business was easy.

Some questions I have asked myself, and from discussions with others, that can start the thought process:

  1. Are you identifying the threats to your business, and the environment in which you operate, when considering new additions and projects?
  2. Do you maintain ongoing threat analysis on existing projects to mitigate impact from the changing environment?
  3. When a threat has been identified, are you allowing friendships and business associations to influence decisions to enhance said relationships or avoid potential disagreements?
  4. If assessment identifies threats, are you willing to restructure or step away from the project?
  5. Do you promote a new program/service/business without first seeing how it will impact the potential threat level of your business?
  6. Are you promoting a multitude of mailers, TEs, downline builders, affiliate programs, etc., that increase the problems of existing identified threats for possible monetary gain without evaluating the overall impact of doing so?
  7. When a threat is identified are you willing to take a stand to stop, or at least reduce, the impact regardless of possible alienation of others for the betterment of your business?
  8. Are you part of the solution, or the problem? (Hint: you probably were part of the problem – I was.  The answer lies in where you go from here.  Continue as you were, or make the effort to undergo significant introspection of your business practices and improve.)

Of course, this list is but examples, and may not be applicable to everyone, but I would truly be interested in your answers – and any other questions to be asked – in the comments below.

There are threats to the business model we are all associated with here – that is undeniable.  A small group of owners/users are beginning to address the issues at hand, and to them, I offer Kudos for their effort.

I would really like to see an expanded effort to identify the threats seen by more people and the dialogue to rectify them grow exponentially.

By working together to overcome the threats and obstacles in business, you help yourself.

Please, take the opportunity to move forward along the path you have chosen on this journey.

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homage-to-the-sponge

With Sincere Thanks

Richard Taylor

“The only limits we have are those you impose upon yourself. Remove the limits!”

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