The S.W.O.T. analysis is an important process to take into consideration when building your massage practice business plan. S.W.O.T. stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
S.W.O.T. analysis is divided into two sections; external and internal environments. The external environment is anything relating to your business outside of the physical building, such as signage, parking or location. An internal environment factor is anything that affects your business from the inside. Examples of internal environment factors would be your staffing, appearance, planning or training.
When considering S.W.O.T. analysis make sure you write down all that applies to you in each of these four areas so that the information can be used in your business plan.
A strength is something that helps your business excel. An example of an external strength would be a gym opening up next to your practice. This would help bring you business solely from being in close proximity to people who care about their health. An example of an internal strength would be the fact that you are skillful and seasoned massage therapist. Another internal strength would be having a certification or experience in a specialty type of massage.
When something degrades the production or growth of your business this is called a weakness. This could be a row of trees blocking your sign or a structure blocking visibility of your business. Any major weakness to marketing or getting customers to notice your business could be considered an external weakness. An internal weakness would be feeling uncomfortable communicating with clients or marketing your business.
An opportunity is an area of potential growth, whether it is the possibility to venture into a new market or a chance to expand in your current market. Opportunity requires vision from the owner to recognize shifting needs or demands of the customer base being served. An opportunity should always be viewed as a potential strength, granted the idea is well researched, planned and implemented in the correct manner.
As an example of an external opportunity, you may have recently noticed that the tennis club next door to your massage practice is full of patrons who are filled with sore muscles and who could think of nothing better than a great massage. This is a great opportunity. It’s time to walk over to that club, introduce yourself to the owner and either ask to set up marketing materials or better yet, offer discounted massages to club members. Not only does this offer the club an extra perk to add to their sales pitch when they are recruiting new members but also offers you a whole new marketing path.More ways to use marketing to turn opportunities into strengths are discussed in theAll About Marketing CEU course where I discuss multiple marketing techniques.
An internal opportunity example would be extra space in your office. This could offer an opportunity to expand into a different type of service or the space could be rented out to another massage therapist for either a flat monthly rate or a profit sharing agreement. You should start to train your mind to look for potential opportunities, the more you analyze potential opportunistic situations the easier recognizing opportunities will be. Use that entrepreneurial creativity!
A threat is something that could cause problems in your business or cause your business to fail. The best example of an external threat is competition, but threats can also come from changes in the details of your location, possible legislature, employees, or even natural disasters. We will start with the least common of the threats and work our way up to dealing with competition.
More information on S.W.O.T. analysis and massage practice marketing can be found in our massage therapy continuing education courses .