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SWOT Analysis is a valuable tool if you ask the correct questions. I like to have the staff at companies go through some exercises to prepare them for the SWOT Analysis. We learn how much they know about the business as well as potential strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.
The post How Much Do Your Employees Know About Your Business? details the seven exercises I have utilized. Here are the actual responses from the Flower and Gift Shop to visualize how the analysis works.
What I found when asking about current product lines, what percentage of sales and profit each represented and the future direction of each product line I was told the following.
|Products/Services||% of Sales||% of Profit||Emphasis|
Thoughts on and results of their recommendations:
|1||Fresh Flowers/Arrangements||Same emphasis since core of business. Increased focus on providing to large corporations.||Enacted|
|2||Fruit/Gift Baskets||Same emphasis since ties in with arrangements.||Enacted|
|3||Giftware||Cut out the paper goods, candy and the wider assortment.||Enacted|
|4||Plants||A category with lower margins was suggested to increase focus to diversify away from fresh flowers.||Enacted|
|5||Special Occasions||A pretty small business representing small margins and scheduling difficulties was to be emphasized.||Enacted|
|6||Interior Plantscaping||Widen focus to include funeral homes and not just weddings.||Enacted|
|7||Silk Arrangements||Focus on commercial not retail.||Not done|
|8||Teleflora||Eliminate even though all shops use Teleflora or FTD or similar to get business from outside their geographic area.||Not done|
New ideas to leverage the physical space and their strengths included:
1. Commercial Decorating
2. Coffee Bar
3. Holding How to Classes
4. Birthday Parties
5. School Tours
6. Photo shooting space because of decorations
7. Hold Holiday Special Events
Employees are a powerful source of ideas for how to change your business. They will offer ideas about product lines to emphasize de-emphasize or discontinue.
Those are the actual responses. Over to you. Please comment below.
1. Will you undertake a similar exercise with your clients or your clients’ employees?
2. What other exercises would you add?
3. How would you change any of the exercises?