Why SWOT Analyses Are Important for Small Businesses

Why SWOT Analyses Are Important for Small Businesses

Understanding your company’s position within your market or industry and knowing how and where you can grow is critical for any business owner. This knowledge allows you to strategically develop your company rather than wasting your efforts trying to expand into a market that doesn’t align with your business or being steamrolled by a surprise competitor.

What is a SWOT analysis?

SWOT, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, is a type of analysis that helps you develop your business strategy by comparing internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) against external factors (opportunities and threats). Examples of internal factors include things that you have control over and can change, like your staff or your intellectual property. External factors are things that you cannot control, like consumer trends or competitors.

A traditional SWOT analysis takes your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and organizes them into a list that is presented in a two-by-two grid.

A SWOT analysis has four quadrants:

 

The analysis provides you with an accurate picture of what your business is currently doing well and how it can improve. “[A SWOT analysis] gives you a firm grasp of what is affecting your business internally and externally,” said Lynne Pratt, creative content director at Virtual Solutions Global. “By carefully evaluating the analysis, a business can find new ways of progressing and achieving growth.”

Why should you do a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis gives you a detailed, unbiased overview of your business as a whole or a specific product or campaign. It can also help train your brain to consider every factor that can possibly affect your project or business. When you’re facing a tough issue or if you’re just unsure of your current strategy, a SWOT analysis illuminates details so you can formulate actionable plans based on each of

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How to Apply Peter Drucker’s Management Theory

How to Apply Peter Drucker's Management Theory

Peter Drucker was a world-famous management consultant whose visionary management theories form the bedrock on which corporate America was built. Knowledge work, corporate social responsibility and organizational culture are just a few of the modern management concepts he conceived or propagated in the pages of his 39 beloved books.

To be clear, Drucker did not invent managers. By most accounts, however, he did invent management. When he began developing and disseminating his famous ideas in the 1940s, the “father of modern management theory” commenced a decadeslong journey during which he orchestrated a fundamental transformation of business leadership from a reactive to a proactive stance. Before Drucker, managers’ highest priority was supervising. Now, thanks to him, it’s strategizing.

“Drucker felt that all businesses need and deserve to be managed well,” said Drucker disciple Bruce Rosenstein, author of two books about the management guru and his theories: Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way and Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life. “Part of that, he believed, was thinking about the future … He recognized that even if you’re really successful now, you will fail later if you’re not thinking about the future.”

In Drucker’s own words: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

It’s just one of many insights Drucker left behind for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors. For business owners and managers who take the time to learn about them, his life and work can yield many more.

Who was Peter Drucker?

Peter Drucker was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1909. He attended college and graduate school in Germany in the early 1930s, where he witnessed – and vocally opposed – the Nazis’ ascent to power. He subsequently fled to England

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How to Resolve Sales and Marketing Conflicts

How to Resolve Sales and Marketing Conflicts

You know the cycle. Your B2B marketing team generates leads for your B2B business. Your sales team takes the leads, works their sales magic and hopefully closes the sale. 

Since your sales team drives all the revenue and your marketing team drives all the leads, they go head-to-head over who is more important and who is doing their job correctly. The sales team complains about poor leads and your marketing team complains about low close rates.

On and on it goes.

But having your sales and marketing teams bicker about their value isn’t productive. In fact, it can build animosity and a toxic work environment. Further, when your two teams don’t work together effectively, your revenue is on the line.

What’s a savvy business owner to do? Know that conflict between sales and marketing teams is common. Here are eight tried-and-true methods for getting your teams working together again.

Are your sales and marketing teams at war?

The war between sales and marketing has been so pervasive that even The Harvard Review has written an article on the matter. It seems to be a tale as old as time: sales and marketing teams arguing over which tasks are most important and who does them best.

Perhaps you’ve seen the signs already. Passive-aggressive emails. Bickering in your Slack channels. Disagreements about marketing, lead nurturing and sales practices. A war is brewing.

Potential areas of conflict between sales and marketing teams

Why the conflict? Here are some possible reasons why your two teams aren’t seeing eye to eye.

  • Lack of communication. If your sales and marketing teams exist as stand-alone departments, it could be that their issues come down to lack of or poor communication. When there’s not much overlap between departments, it can be hard for teams to communicate, collaborate and
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How to Find International Investors for Your Business

How to Find International Investors for Your Business

  • The most important parts of attracting international investors are a strong business model, extensive research and an engaged network.
  • Investors will expect you to know everything about your business and how it will function in an international market.
  • There are many resources available to help businesses find international investors.

Attracting international investors to your business can be a daunting task. It requires time, effort, a lot of confidence in your business, and the willingness to handle rejection. But with the right tools and preparation, you can be well on your way to breaking into a foreign market with the support of an international investor behind you.

1. Start with a strong business model.

Every good business decision is built on a strong and clearly thought-out business model, which is a design for the successful operation of your business. It identifies your revenue sources, customer base and finance details. [Read related article: How to Create a Sustainable Business Model]

Your business model needs to prove that your business can be profitable in the international market by showing how successful it has been in your own country. Breaking into international markets is often riskier than the domestic market because there are several new variables to contend with, like different government regulations and the mutable nature of the markets. Thus, international investors tend to be more cautious when taking on new investments, and you’ll have to work harder to convince them that your business is worth the risk. A detailed business model that preemptively answers investors’ questions will go a long way in determining your credibility as an investment.

2. Be prepared.

Before seeking international investors, you should prepare as much data, research and information as possible. You will need to know everything about your business, the market you are looking to

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4 Benefits of Using Social Media to Grow Your Small Business

4 Benefits of Using Social Media to Grow Your Small Business

  • Social media is one of the most effective ways to nurture your business. 
  • Learning about your target audience can help you make informed marketing and analytic decisions. 
  • Proper social media marketing tactics result in increased engagement, higher SEO rank and social proof for your website.
  • Personalized ads can improve your sales and website traffic. 

Business owners have a wide range of marketing tools at their disposal. After examining numerous studies and data from real companies, it’s evident that social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow your small business. 

According to HootSuite, there are currently 4.39 billion people online, and 3.48 billion people using social media. Both figures increased by 9% from the prior year. This shows that there is an excellent chance you can find and market to your target audience on various social media platforms. 

Every niche can benefit from the additional exposure, marketing opportunities and the chance to connect with potential customers. Depending on your industry, your social media experience may differ from others, but these are general benefits that apply to a majority of industries.

Learn about your target audience

The first and most obvious benefit of using social media as a growth tool is that it allows you to learn more about your target audience. Think about it; social media is where people go when they want to express their thoughts, opinions, or experiences. In other words, people online are more receptive to brands and products and happy to talk about their experiences. 

You can use this data by checking out your competitors’ social media profiles, and groups where people talk about your niche. For example, if you wanted to create content for your gardening website, you would go to the Gardening 101 Facebook group and see what people are discussing.

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