Small businesses have opportunities all around them. They might identify some, but are blind to other prospects that can create or maintain growth. A management consultant might help you uncover some of these areas. You can find directories of consultants from the Institute of Management Consultants USA and from the Association of Management Consultants.
Whether you do it yourself or enlist outside help, recognize your company has opportunities even in weakness. For example, a computer software company employs developers who lack needed certifications. Turn this weakness, which you identify in a SWOT analysis, into an opportunity by requiring employees to gain the certification.
Using the previous example, look at how recognizing a weakness and turning it into an opportunity can snowball into a whole lot more.
Step 1: The company pays for employees to become certified, increasing employee morale and production.
Step 2: A redo of print and digital marketing materials informs customers and prospects of your newly acquired expertise. Sales grow.
Step 3: After a survey of customers, the marketing department learns the biggest gripe is the website isn’t adapted for the smart phone, making it hard to read. An easy fix makes it look picture perfect. Now, customers don’t turn away from the website because they have difficulty reading it.
Step 4: The company develops a free app for smartphones, increasing the number of consumers who now learn they may also benefit from its software.
Step 5: A growing customer base and need for product gives the company pricing efficiencies. As a result, they lower costs for their product and put increased pressure on competitors.