- STRENGTHS - the characteristics of the project or business idea that can offer a competitive advantage (such as a strong, well-tailored service, or a solid quality assurance process)
- WEAKNESSES - the characteristics of the project or business idea that might result in a lack of competitive advantage, or might put you off the choice pile (such as lack of resources or poor reputation)
- OPPORTUNITIES – the elements the business owner or project manager can exploit to improve or strengthen the competitive advantage of the venture (such as new partnership opportunities, or a new market niche that hasn’t been covered yet)
- THREATS – the elements in the business environment which could negatively affect the outcomes of the project or business idea (such as new competitors on the rise, or the race for low rates)
Nevertheless, SWOT analysis can also be used to evaluate internal opportunities and threats, resulting from a thorough analysis of strength and weaknesses combined with the analysis of information and feedback received from customers. Here are six questions that can help you through the process of evaluating your strengths and weaknesses to identify possible internal opportunities and threats for your freelance business.
EVALUATING INTERNAL OPPORTUNITIES
- Can I wrap up some of my skills to create a product or services that can satisfy the needs of a new niche, or help me strengthen my position as a business partner amongst my clients?
- Can I partner up with other freelancers working in my field to create a strong network to suit my customers’ needs? What kind of a competitive advantage would this provide to my new partners?
- Is my marketing supporting my competitive advantage by providing customers with clear and defined solutions to their needs? Are my collateral activities (such as blogging and social media engagement) strengthening my professional profile and how can I use these communication tools to stand out?
EVALUATING INTERNAL THREATS
- Am I cutting myself too thin across a myriad of services which make me look like a Jack of all trades rather than a professional with a well-defined offering?
- Is my knowledge in my fields of expertise up-to-date or should I investigate the topics further to provide a better product or service to my customers?
- Are my objectives and goals as a solopreneurs specific and well-defined and is my strategy consistent with them?