How to analyze business strengths

Business is a sport for gladiators – but building a business takes more than grit and determination. It takes the ability to be honest with yourself. To recognize that you have both business strengths and weaknesses that can make or break your success. And to put in the work to transform those weaknesses into opportunities and better use your strengths. By making a list of business strengths and weaknesses and analyzing them, you can create a better business map to achieve sustainable, long-term growth. 

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What are the strengths and weaknesses of a business?

Your business strengths and weaknesses are the areas in which your business excels and those where you fall behind the competition. They can include anything from your product to your processes, supply chain or company culture. They can also change over time as your business grows and the market evolves.

Business strengths and weaknesses are often thought of in terms of SWOT analysis – a planning technique that looks at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But your strengths and weaknesses are the most vital part of any business analysis, because when you are in control of your internal processes, you’re better prepared to face external challenges and turn them into opportunities.

List of business strengths and weaknesses

It isn’t always easy to recognize your business strengths and weaknesses. Every business owner has blind spots, especially when it comes to how their own psychology affects their organization. But an honest assessment will likely turn up at least a few common strengths and weaknesses.

Common business strengths

Strong, innovative company culture

Unique product or knowledge

Excellent efficiency and productivity

Customer service that creates raving fan customers

Ability to scale sustainably

Speed to market

High adaptability

Diversification of products or services

Strong, decisive leadership

Common business weaknesses

Weak, fragmented company culture

Lack of product differentiation

Low efficiency and high waste

Poor customer service

Unregulated and unplanned growth

Slower to market than competitors

Rigid structure that reduces agility

No diversification

Leadership limitations such as lack of self-awareness 

How to identify business strengths and weaknesses

Every business has different traits, so this list of business strengths and weaknesses is just the beginning. To really uncover your own, you’ll need a strong process.

1. Become more self-aware

A business is only as strong as the psychology of its leader, which is why self-awareness in business is so important. Self-awareness means being in touch with your own thoughts and feelings and how they affect your behavior. When you are self-aware, you’re more able to control your emotions, make tough decisions and be a better leader. You’re also able to look at your business strengths and weaknesses more objectively and assess how your own actions and mindset affect your success – or failure.

2. Know what to look for

Sometimes the answer to “What are the strengths and weaknesses of a business?” is obvious. Revenue growth, diversification, physical assets and intellectual property are common places to start. But there are many other areas to look at when performing your assessment. Do you have a particularly talented team? A strong company culture that encourages risk-taking and innovation? Efficient operations that save time while improving productivity? Don’t forget about these key areas.

3. Put yourself in a customer’s shoes

Everything goes back to creating raving fan customers, including how you identify business strengths and weaknesses. You need to uncover your X factor: the way that you provide more value than anyone else. That’s your biggest business strength. Asking for customer feedback and taking it to heart is also one of the best ways to uncover your weaknesses. Customers will almost always be honest – just ask them.

4. Ask around

You’ll never get a holistic view of your business strengths and weaknesses if you only listen to your own opinions. Always interview other stakeholders, board members and team members at every level of the company. Join a board or ask your mentor for an outside opinion. Remember what Tony says: “Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” In all of your interviews, be sure you’re asking the right questions and practice deep listening to instill trust and get honest feedback.

5. Look at the competition

Your business strengths and weaknesses may be internal factors, but it is still essential to look at your competition. You may think you have a strong marketing strategy, customer service or processes, but competitive analysis reveals otherwise. Or perhaps you’ll realize that you’re not as weak in some areas as you thought. Determining where you can win is a natural next step. 

6. Continually assess

Making a list of business strengths and weaknesses isn’t a one-time task. Any successful business owner needs to commit to constant and never-ending improvement – and that means continually reassessing every aspect of your business. Markets change. Businesses grow. Strengths can even become risks if they become too ingrained and limit your agility and ability to innovate. Review your business strengths and weaknesses at least once a year using the process outlined here.

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