Define Strengths And Weaknesses

Taking an unbiased perspective of how things are going, as you set up and grow your home business website, can be incredibly difficult. 

For home business entrepreneurs it's a good idea to do a SWOT Analysis. What's that? What it's not is a bunch of hooded guys storming business buildings with sniper rifles and guns.

Not that kinda swat. This kinda swot is a way to plan for and assess the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in starting and running your online website business.

All new business start up ventures need to define their strengths and weaknesses before they start marketing their home based busienss venture

Paula Wynne, author of 'Create A Successful Website' and Pimp My Site goes arm to arm with the strongman to shed some expert advice that will help us to step back, focus and find our business start up strong points.

Once you know the objectives for your website, you can consider positive and negative aspects of your plan.

Identifying your SWOTs is crucial because you can take steps during your planning to overcome a weakness or lessen a threat. It will also establish your strengths and opportunities and spark creative ideas for marketing.

It is particularly helpful to bring to light any future development and possible growth plans. After we launched Remote Employment, we went back to our SWOT and explored ways to increase our strengths and diminish any weaknesses or threats. So we launched an Awards site honouring individuals and companies who champion remote and home working.

Sweat Analysis

Ideally, a SWOT analysis starts with defining a desired end objective, it’s a sweaty old task, but someone’s gotta do it.

Strengths

List out qualities of your online business or website that will help achieve your business objectives. Remember to include resources, such as yourself or business partners. Your and their strengths are important to your venture.

My background is PR and this ‘strength’ played an important role in reaching a wider audience and overcame one of our weaknesses, a limited marketing budget. So use a strength to combat a weakness.

Weaknesses

This could be the actions or activities of you, your business partners and your company that may hinder achievement.

Opportunities

This one's fun: list out positive external or internal factors that will assist in achieving your plan. In our SWOT, advances in technology were regarded as a big opportunity for more people working from home.

Then, when the recession hit, despite it being a negative it turned to a positive opportunity as many people who were faced with redundancy now wanted alternative ways of working.

Threats

Negative outer or inner factors that could potentially do damage to your online business. When we launched The Remote Worker Awards and were looking for headline sponsors, these were brief and basic SWOTs:

  • Strengths: unique, new, sexiness of the remote working concept, huge PR opportunity.
  • Weakness: no track record, therefore harder to crack big sponsors.
  • Opportunities: Award Categories could be branded with a company’s name, along with a high profile judging panel.
  • Threats: some may have the view that because it was the inaugural Awards, that the idea could potentially fail.

 

We took our Opportunities and Strengths to the extreme and managed to get more than £891k in positive PR media coverage. The campaign doubled our site traffic!

The moral of the SWOT story – take your S and O and go hell for leather to reduce the W and T.

It is a good idea to look at the ‘order of magnitude’. If the S and Os are a lot bigger than the W and Ts, put most of your effort into them or vice versa. And don’t underestimate the T of your competition – know their S and Ws.

Your SWOT analysis will help you use lateral thinking to get the most creative ideas into your plans.

As you get further embedded in your endevours and more light bulbs flash on in your head, keep coming back to this article and adding to your SWOT. It is a constantly revolving and evolving piece of work.

And, before you dash out there and start-up your home business website, take a look at our articles on how to name and host your business website, how domains work and find lots of business start-up advice in our How To section. 

Award-winning entrepreneur of social networking site, iHubbub, and author of ‘Create A Successful Website’ and Pimp My Site, Paula Wynne is co-founder of iHubbub, a home business social community.