Business Analysis for Creative Small Business Owners | Alicia Yarrish

How to analyze your business for success in 2018

December 22, 2017

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How to analyze your business for success in 2018

December 22, 2017

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WRITING FROM: HOUSTON, TEXAS

S.W.O.T. Business Analysis for Creative Small Business Owners | Alicia Yarrish Photography | Houston Wedding Photographer | France Destination Wedding & Anniversary Photographer

It’s almost 2018 and all of us creative small business owners are looking for ways to improve in the new year! I totally get it– each year should be better than the last. We should be more profitable, more efficient, and more boss lady like with each passing year.

The million dollar question- how?! You need to consistently analyze your business and position yourself for growth and improvement! So here we go- business analysis for creative small business owners (that’s you!)

Consistency is the key! If you are doing different analysis each year for your business you have no data to compare from year to year. Obviously, you may want to implement a new spreadsheet or types of information, just be sure to continue collecting that data in the future so you can compare appropriately.

Today I’m telling you about my favorite business analysis system- S.W.O.T.!

S.W.O.T. Business Analysis for Creative Small Business Owners | Alicia Yarrish Photography | Houston Wedding Photographer | France Destination Wedding & Anniversary Photographer

Your S.W.O.T. Analysis

#1. Strengths

Evaluate what your business has done well. Look at client reviews, brainstorm what you believe you carried out efficiently and effectively on the backend of your business, and compare yourself to your competitors. This is where you get to toot your own horn!

#2. Weaknesses

Identify any mediocre or negative client feedback, brainstorm areas you fell behind on tasks, think of projects or tasks you didn’t feel good about the end result, and any educational shortcomings. This section can be really difficult, but approach it knowing that you’re using this data to better yourself. You’re not simply making a list of areas you’re weak in just to see it- it serves a purpose and it’s how you grow!

#3. Opportunity

This is the good stuff! There are so many ways to spot an opportunity- you can pick weaknesses from above to focus on in the new year and learn and grow from them, check in with your strengths to see if there is something you can improve to make even more spectacular, and check in with competitors- if there is an area they fall short in that’s an opportunity for you! Opportunities are not in short supply, you just have to constantly be on the lookout for them and make a plan to take action!

#4. Threats

As a business owner, you always need to be watching out for threats. Check into new competitors, personal threats you have (such as an upcoming move or big life event like having a baby). Make contingency plans and if it’s competition that is a threat let that drive you to create new and better offerings!

How to use your SWOT Analysis

If you only do one SWOT analysis in the lifespan of your business- you’re not doing it right. You’d be missing out on growing and bettering your business! I like to carry out a S.W.O.T. analysis every quarter. I already have quarterly goals in addition to yearly goals (you should too!) and it feels like the right time to check in and analyze my business. This ensures that I am ready for anything!

We should be more profitable, more efficient, and more boss lady like with each passing year.

 

WRITING FROM: HOUSTON, TEXAS

S.W.O.T. Business Analysis for Creative Small Business Owners | Alicia Yarrish Photography | Houston Wedding Photographer | France Destination Wedding & Anniversary Photographer

It’s almost 2018 and all of us creative small business owners are looking for ways to improve in the new year! I totally get it– each year should be better than the last. We should be more profitable, more efficient, and more boss lady like with each passing year.

The million dollar question- how?! You need to consistently analyze your business and position yourself for growth and improvement! So here we go- business analysis for creative small business owners (that’s you!)

Consistency is the key! If you are doing different analysis each year for your business you have no data to compare from year to year. Obviously, you may want to implement a new spreadsheet or types of information, just be sure to continue collecting that data in the future so you can compare appropriately.

Today I’m telling you about my favorite business analysis system- S.W.O.T.!

S.W.O.T. Business Analysis for Creative Small Business Owners | Alicia Yarrish Photography | Houston Wedding Photographer | France Destination Wedding & Anniversary Photographer

Your S.W.O.T. Analysis

#1. Strengths

Evaluate what your business has done well. Look at client reviews, brainstorm what you believe you carried out efficiently and effectively on the backend of your business, and compare yourself to your competitors. This is where you get to toot your own horn!

#2. Weaknesses

Identify any mediocre or negative client feedback, brainstorm areas you fell behind on tasks, think of projects or tasks you didn’t feel good about the end result, and any educational shortcomings. This section can be really difficult, but approach it knowing that you’re using this data to better yourself. You’re not simply making a list of areas you’re weak in just to see it- it serves a purpose and it’s how you grow!

#3. Opportunity

This is the good stuff! There are so many ways to spot an opportunity- you can pick weaknesses from above to focus on in the new year and learn and grow from them, check in with your strengths to see if there is something you can improve to make even more spectacular, and check in with competitors- if there is an area they fall short in that’s an opportunity for you! Opportunities are not in short supply, you just have to constantly be on the lookout for them and make a plan to take action!

#4. Threats

As a business owner, you always need to be watching out for threats. Check into new competitors, personal threats you have (such as an upcoming move or big life event like having a baby). Make contingency plans and if it’s competition that is a threat let that drive you to create new and better offerings!

How to use your SWOT Analysis

If you only do one SWOT analysis in the lifespan of your business- you’re not doing it right. You’d be missing out on growing and bettering your business! I like to carry out a S.W.O.T. analysis every quarter. I already have quarterly goals in addition to yearly goals (you should too!) and it feels like the right time to check in and analyze my business. This ensures that I am ready for anything!

We should be more profitable, more efficient, and more boss lady like with each passing year.

 

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Comments

  1. Cierra

    February 9th, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    This is such a helpful post, and I am so glad I read through it! As a small creative business owner myself, I’m always striving to find more business tips and goal strategies to make my business more successful. Thank you for all the advice!

  2. Alicia Yarrish

    February 9th, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    I’m so happy you found it helpful! This is such a simple business tip, but it has helped me grow my business leaps and bounds. I hope it does yours as well, Cierra!

  3. Dave

    February 9th, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    What great business tips! I’m definitely going to use some of these for my creative based small business. Thanks!

  4. Joshua Jones

    February 9th, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    This is great blog post! What you said are almost exactly same thoughts I had in the past year when I got my business situation figured it out. I know this post will help many and many people to figure it out with their business situation and improve it.

  5. amy

    February 9th, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    OMG, what a fantastic post! I’m so happy I came across your blog. So many great tips for creative small businesses. I seriously need to get going on a lot of these.. I can’t believe it’s already almost mid Feburary!!

  6. Alicia Yarrish

    February 10th, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    The year goes by SO fast! Soon it’ll be time to get THIS years taxes in order! Crazy! I’m so happy this post was helpful for you! I’m planning some great content regarding finances for creative small business owners 🙂 Hope you’ll check back!

  7. sarah

    February 10th, 2018 at 12:29 am

    I love having a goal setting strategy, or just like everything else it wont happen. We do ours on the first of every month for that month and then re-eval on the 15th

  8. Jennifer

    February 10th, 2018 at 1:07 am

    So many great ideas that are sure to help me and my small business. Thank you for sharing what you know with the rest of us!

  9. Kathryn

    February 10th, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    OH wow, I really needed to read this! So many amazing business tips here! I can definitely use these to evaluate my creative small business, thank you!

  10. Alicia Yarrish

    February 16th, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I’m so happy this was helpful for your, Kathryn!

  11. Deb B.

    February 10th, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    I absolutely love this. I can use any and all business tips I can get. I have never heard of the S.W.O.T. analysis – and it’s so easy, yet, I have yet to do it! Brilliant! And thank you 🙂

  12. Alicia Yarrish

    February 16th, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I’m so happy this was helpful for you, Deb! I love S.W.O.T. analysis and I hope you are able to better track your business with it!

  13. Jennifer M Outlaw

    February 10th, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    This if full of super helpful business tips. It is so important to take a step back and reflect and set goals for a new year. As a creative small business owner I sometimes lose sight of the business aspect of running a business and focus more on the creative part but it is so so important to keep your mind on both parts. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Paris Signature Atelier | Monday Rendezvous | Alicia Yarrish Photography

    July 16th, 2018 at 8:54 am

    […] (It also allows me to educate other business owners!) […]

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