Business Plan 2014: Tip 4. SWOT and Gap analysis

What makes your company stand out in your marketplace? Are there issues facing the real estate industry that may come to impact your business next year and beyond? What is likely to happen in your local market? Is there anything holding you back that could be mitigated?

One of the key tickets to success for any business is to conduct a SWOT-analysis, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors of your business, which you can impact yourself. Opportunities and threats are external factors that impact your business but which you cannot easily impact. If your bookkeeping skills is making you fall behind on the marketing efforts you need to make you have a weakness that you can change yourself into a strength by taking a class or hire a bookkeeper. A declining national economy is sure to be a threat to your company, but there is obviously little you can do directly to impact it. Next, it’s time to put together a gap analysis. A gap analysis is essentially a comparison between your current strengths and weaknesses and once you’ve assessed which areas that may not need improvement and those that do it’s time to write a summary of what you intend to do in the following year to build on your success. Example: Social media marketing is becoming increasingly important as a communications vehicle between real estate agents and their spheres of influence. As an ASP® you want to be an important connection in their social networks. But, you may not be familiar with the available platforms, and even more so how to effectively use them in your relationship-building efforts. By identifying the skills you need and the fact that you aren’t very familiar with social media you’ll recognize the need – through a gap analysis – to educate yourself in order to effectively engage with your connections online, and to build your own online social media presence. Your action may include taking classes and attend hands-on workshops on the subject of social media marketing. I’ve created a worksheet you can use when you develop your own SWOT and gap analysis. Click here to download a copy. Live in Joy, ASP® Stage® with Joy and Enjoy the Wonder and Magic of it all! Barb Barb Schwarz The Creator of Home Staging® CEO Founder/Chairwoman, The International Association of Home Staging Professionals

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