You’ve probably heard that a variant of the expression, a team is only as strong as its weakest link. That’s nowhere truer than in business where a small oversight could lead to a rival exercising an enormous competitive advantage over one of your clients in the franchise brokerage industry.
Business advisors are consultants who work with businesses of all sizes in order to find the right strategic planning and problem-solving approaches for that business leader’s unique challenges.
To provide strategic guidance, you’ll need to understand the industries that the businesses that you’re advising are working within. You’ll also need to identify a company’s strengths and weaknesses in order to emphasize the former and bring the latter up to speed.
How SWOT Analysis Can Help Correct Weaknesses
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. To identify a company’s weaknesses, you’ll obviously focus on the weaknesses and threats half of the SWOT analysis framework.
The beautiful thing about SWOT analysis is that half of the framework would have you analyze the strengths and weaknesses internal to an organization (the S and W of SWOT) whereas the last two letters look at pros and cons (opportunities and threats, respectively) of the external business environment.
Helping Companies and Managers Identify Their Strengths
Before getting into how you should analyze a company’s weaknesses, it may be helpful to know that a SWOT analysis can enable you to find out what a business does better than its rivals and locate unique economies of scale advantages that need to be further tapped.
Asking managers and advertisers working on behalf of the company that you’re representing and advising about their unique selling proposition can help them further refine their message and stay on point with customers.
Asking what a company’s customers view as that particular company’s strengths can also give marketers and business leaders at that company the confidence to move forward with something that their customers will like even more.
Through analyzing the industry, you might even uncover new market opportunities, fresh demographics to market to, online marketing approaches like content marketing and search engine optimization that could work for that company, or ways that a company’s website could be made more responsive.
Uncovering Weaknesses and Making Corrections
Weaknesses can boil down to financials, personnel, intellectual property issues, employee programs, brand positioning, or a company’s orientation to growth. On the most basic level, you’ll want to uncover a company’s financial position because this will determine the resources that they have at their disposal for other projects.
Look at a company’s revenue stream(s) as well as their investment in research and development for an idea of their growth aspirations. A diversified source of income would indicate an ability to weather market downturns whereas a one-dimensional income stream might indicate, for instance, a company’s need to sell online or sell in different ways to different customers in different places.
Making sure that a company is in compliance with intellectual property issues (e.g., product licenses and having their brand trademarked) can save the companies that you advise a lot of legal hassle later.
When you make your assessment, also be on the lookout for underutilized or misappropriated talent, as either could be a money pit and major weakness for a company. A lackluster training program could well represent a significant weakness for a company and its investors.
Lastly, a company’s market position and growth potential are extremely important factors that can be uncovered by studying the industry and finding out what customers really want out of the company that you’re advising. It could be as simple as handing out a survey.
To learn more about how to identify a company’s weaknesses and strengths as a franchise brokerage advisor, request more information today!