Yes, you can and should do a SWOT analysis on yourself. And if you can stay balanced and brutally honest, you will reap benefits to help you work smarter.
Not convinced it is worth your time?
Read on, and I know you will see the light.
What is a SWOT analysis?
Traditionally companies perform a SWOT analysis to identify internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external threats and opportunities.
The internal factors highlight strengths and weaknesses the organization can control. Simply put, strengths are things the organization does well, whereas weaknesses highlight areas where the organization has room to improve.
External factors identify and assess outside threats and opportunities where the organization is subject to external factors and conditions. Gaps in the marketplace that the organization could serve and threats from new competitors entering the market are two examples.
Typically, the organization will apply an outside-in perspective and assess itself. It is also common to use a competitor SWOT analysis to understand other organizations in your market better.
- 1. SWOT – Strength questions
- 2. SWOT – Weakness questions
- 3. SWOT – Opportunity questions
- 4. SWOT – Threats questions
Can SWOT be used for individuals?
The SWOT framework is easy to adapt and use for individuals. But easy to use does not mean it is a simple process.
Quite the contrary, most people struggle to deliver a balanced view of themselves.
And for the process to have value, you need to look at yourself through a clear and unbiased lens.
The need to stay concrete and relevant
You need to be brutally honest and relevant and stay concrete.
The process will not yield any value if you assign yourself value, knowledge, or expertise that you do not have.
It may sound obvious, but being a part of a team does not automatically give you specific skills.
And listing skills and expertise that have no relevance serves little purpose.
Things that will be important include:
- Niche-related product or service knowledge
- Network or contacts in the industry. Including related industries.
- Copywriting skills
- Graphic design skills
- Digital marketing skills
Stay concrete and relevant. Remember, you are not applying for a job. The job is already yours.
The imposter syndrome
We also have the phenomena where you fail to give yourself any value. And everyone else is an expert.
Here, a change of perspective will help you overcome this type of low professional self-esteem.
You will provide information that adds value by solving real problems.
The people searching for the information you publish will be asking questions you can help answer.
And this makes you an expert to them.
You do not have to know more than everyone else to be an expert.
The need to understand your inner entrepreneur
SWOT analysis is valuable when starting a new online business, whether a small hobby website or a full-time online venture.
And while it is vital to understand your business, it is even more critical to understand yourself when you are first starting.
When starting an online business, you are the most valuable asset.
Understanding yourself will highlight areas where you are not strong and need to seek assistance. Nobody does everything great.
You will be the reason your business succeeds or fails.
There may be contributing factors, but at the end of the day, you need to own the outcome.
To be successful, you need to make sure you play to your strengths.
And this is why you should perform a SWOT analysis on yourself.
SWOT questions to ask yourself
Here are three questions you need to ask yourself as you go through each area of the analysis.
1. SWOT – Strength questions
- Do you have contacts or a network in your selected niche?
- Do you have expertise in your chosen niche?
- Are you prepared to stay up to date with news related to your niche?
Expertise, authority, and opportunities for partnerships will be crucial to success. If you have neither, ask yourself if this is the correct niche for you to pursue.
2. SWOT – Weakness questions
- In which areas do you lack the skills essential to succeed?
- Which resource limitations do you face? It could be a lack of time or money.
- Are you prepared to work for nothing for months to years?
Be honest with yourself and list any skills and resources you do not have. How will you cope? Do a gut check for motivation. Are you prepared to make your business a success?
3. SWOT – Opportunity questions
- List ways you will be different compared to your competitors.
- How will you succeed and stay profitable?
- Who can you serve better than anyone else?
You need a USP or Unique Selling Proposal to stand out. If you are like everyone else, you should think twice before you commit. Consider serving several smaller subsections of your niche and see where you find success.
4. SWOT – Threats questions
- Can anyone do what you do?
- Are there low barriers to entry?
- Is your niche relevant and future-proof?
Will there be a market for your product or service ten years from now? Is there still time for smaller players to enter the market?
3 benefits of performing a SWOT analysis on yourself
When you start an online business, you are creating something from nothing. And as you have limited resources, it is essential to work smart.
Know what to delegate
There are many tasks to perform, and initially, you will need to fulfill all of them yourself.
But as you progress, you will need to delegate specific tasks.
An intelligent software program may perform some tasks, while you may employ freelance consultants to help you with other tasks.
And this is one benefit of a SWOT analysis – you will know where to seek support and assistance.
Do not spend days creating a logo when a freelancer on Fiverr will give you three alternatives to choose from for the cost of a cup of coffee.
Focus your effort where it has the most impact
A SWOT analysis will make you write down your strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.
And seeing these internal and external factors in writing will help you focus and prioritize your efforts.
Rather than doing what you enjoy, you will see where you should focus your efforts.
And whenever you have time to spare, go back to the SWOT matrix to ensure you spend your time where it will yield the most significant benefit.
Lift your gaze and challenge the status quo
When you work to get your business off the ground, it is easy to get tunnel vision. You only see what is right in front of you and work diligently to get the job done.
To stay productive, you have goals divided into subgoals. And you diligently stay on top of performing all tasks and completing all goals.
And this is good. But, there is a risk that you will fail to pick up on external threats and opportunities in your quest to conduct your business according to plan.
After all, writing one article per week has no value to your business unless it attracts visitors to your website.
Revisit your SWOT analysis weekly to ensure your daily activities help you address relevant threats and opportunities.