Laura: The Fear of the S.W.O.T. Analysis

Have you heard about the importance of doing a S.W.O.T. (Strengths ~ Weaknesses ~ Opportunities ~ Threats) analysis of your creative business? It’s something that Lisa Sonora Beam covers in her book, The Creative Entrepreneur. I may sound silly, but I was actually a little scared/anxious to do this for my creative businesses (my online marketing/design blog and my handmade jewelry biz).

click to enlarge the long-feared S.W.O.T. analysis

I will be the first to admit that I don’t always like to take a careful look at “Threats” to my creative biz.  Not looking at them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  It was time to take off the blinders and get to my journal to write this all down.

The page below outlines the S.W.O.T. I found for both Strategic Online Marketing (my blog and design biz) and Dreamy Design Works Jewelry.  Orange is for Jewelry, pink is for my design biz.

The biggest “threat” I feel in my jewelry business is simply the thousands of competitors on Etsy.  I’ve overcome this by mainly selling to friends/family/locals. 

Instead of competing with thousands, it seems I either need to find a more unique niche within jewelry (instead of mainly earrings) OR turn my focus to local markets and local/regional craft shows. 

I have 400 fans now for my jewelry on FB, so I wrote that down as a strength and opportunity.  In fear of being too loud/too sales-y, I’ve probably under-promoted my jewelry to my fans.  Also, I went through the year without a solid marketing plan for my jewelry biz.  I’m embarrassed to say this! On a positive note, though, I’ve gone through 6 months with my jewelry biz and have a better idea of what might work and when.

I challenge you to perform a S.W.O.T. analysis on your biz! It was a great exercise and I am feeling energized.