Whether you were a startup-newbie or a successful entrepreneur, you will need to evaluate your business model; in order to sharpen your business strategy and to inspire investors to fund your project. Here is a concise practical guide on how to do so using the SWOT analysis.

What SWOT analysis really is: The emphasis of carrying a SWOT analysis should not be on the routine: if it is not being produced for a purpose and used meaningfully, then its a time waste! Here is what SWOT stands for is:

Strength of your business: Focus your money, time and energy on those. Opportunity of your business: Those are the rewards you could/would receive if your business went successful. Weakness of your business: GET RID OF THOSE NOW, AMIGO! Threat of your business: The price you have got to pay if shit went real. Procedural/Checklist SWOT Analysis: I bet you know how to use word to create a table; my 6-year old brother could do better. But what he cannot do is use the SWOT table to render and/or extrapolate data that reflects the business model characteristics. This is simply because he lacks business acumen, acronyms, knowledge and experience. Nevertheless, if you want to beat your competition or place a foot in the market, I will assume that you are my 6-year old brother; only then you could do the 1, 2,3s blindly and map/evaluate your business model. Here are two tools:

Use Keywords as Categories, and search for Subcategories We often find ourself clueless and thoughtless when it comes to brainstorming, thats because there is no structured method for your mind to find the rope-ends that it could pull and retrieve stored information from. But, "what if" you were told to write 1 strength, weakness, opportunity and threat for your business model from the keyword "Marketing": You will write loads and loads. Here is a thoughtful list you could use as the rope-ends:

Market Finance/Funds/Investments Recruitment Customer Work environment Organisational/Strategical Product/Service Aren't you satisfied yet? Below is another mind-crancking method.

Use Checklists, Use www.123SWOT.com Even if you went for the first option, there will be only one method to be more confident about your SWOT analysis coverage: Use www.123SWOT.com

It is a categorised drag-and-drop menu that saves typing and formatting the SWOT table, it saves you thinking effort, and, it provides thoughtful answers/possibilities that could potentially apply to your business model.

The Checklist method is one of the strongest methods employed in many sectors to avoid uncertainty and mistakes. It also ensures higher reliability and better confidence margin that the checklist user has covered "all the cases". Give it a try!

Conclusion Once you have a true representation of your business model using the SWOT analysis, you can use its strengths to pave your path towards the opportunities. You could plan against the "Expected" or acknowledged weakness to avoid the square you do not want to be at: Threat Square!

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