Identifying Your Strengths – 3 Vital Questions For Your Small Business

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There are many times when I watch Dragon’s Den where a proposal is rejected, not because of a bad idea, but because the business in question has failed to identify the key strengths and weaknesses within their company resulting in a poor pitch, business advice, and a lack of confidence in the business owner or owners among the Dragons. The biggest difference between a successful business with a good idea and a failed business with a good idea is implementation. People all too often rely on the power of the idea to keep their company alive rather than thinking about how to capitalise on the strengths of the idea to make profits.

All fledgling small businesses have the same problem and you have probably encountered stumbling blocks yourself where you may have been seduced by the great idea you possess without identifying the key strengths available to you to make a concrete long term plan for fast growth. So how do you go about setting out this strategy? Look at business advice, and and answer these 3 vital questions and you will be in a better place to make the right decisions:

What is unique about your business?

You may have a unique idea or a new twist on an older concept but rather than focusing on how great this idea is, and being invested in this great new concept succeeding, look at things from a more objective perspective. Who would benefit from the realisation of this idea? What customers would find a product and service borne out from this unique idea really helpful? Be enthusiastic about the concept by all means but identify very quickly where its strengths lie in the market.

Where do you excel?

As a business owner, it can be hard to sit back and reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of your employees you are mentoring. Especially when you are focused on getting a business off the ground, it can be difficult to not try everything at once. The lack of focus can hinder you progress and taking time out to highlight the areas of your business where you personally excel, such in marketing and sales, and where your employees excel (perhaps you have a great customer service department) can improve your chances of success. The best businesses identify their best customers, target their sales and marketing in that area and ensure their customer interactions are geared to courting and keeping loyal customers onside.

What obstacles can you anticipate?

A significant area where business owners with big new ideas fail to consider is seeing where competition and other obstacles could come from in the future. Anticipation of rivals and creating a business plan and structure which can cope with new business environments can be the difference between a flourishing long term company and a Startup which fails to get off the starting blocks. Look for the right business advice.

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Read more about Paul and business advice
Paul has also written lots of articles for Bright Green Leadership.

About the Author

Paul HannamPaul Hannam is a motivational speaker, consultant writer, entrepreneur and academic. He has taught a number of different courses on business and psychology for over two decades, and was an Adjunct Fellow at Linacre College, Oxford University, where he taught Organizational Behaviour and related programs. Paul is the author of 2 books including Take Charge of your Mind (written with John Selby) and The Magic of Groundhog Day, the latter was adapted as an audio program by Nightingale Conant in 2009. In his career, Paul has founded, owned and developed a company that achieved over 28 million in annual sales. Today, he lives in the United Kingdom and owns a number of websites that aim to help improve people's lives, the society and the planet.View all posts by Paul Hannam →

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