By now, you are probably familiar with using a SWOT analysis in your MSP business. If not, let’s define what a SWOT analysis is. It’s basically a technique that a business can use to define its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
When you think about strengths, you should look at where your business excels. Are you confident that you have things about your business that is better than other MSPs? Those are your strengths. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have your weaknesses. Where do you think your business could use some work? Are you losing sales? Why?
Opportunities are also part of a SWOT analysis. To find out your opportunities, you must look at business trends among MSPs. Does your company stand to gain from these? Finally, you want to take a look at your potential threats. Are you falling short somewhere? What are your competitors up to? The answers to these questions can help you to pinpoint your threats.
Though this sounds easy enough, many MSPs make mistakes when they conduct a SWOT analysis. Make sure you aren’t doing the following:
Making Too Many Suggestions
One mistake that MSPs often make is they make too many suggestions under each category. Long lists of suggestions can make it difficult for you and your team to manage. So, take some time and eliminate some of the ideas you have. You don’t have to forget about it forever, but it might be in your best interest to get rid of an idea in the present. For instance, if an idea isn’t feasible financially, consider pulling it off your list.
Not Being Specific Enough
Another mistake that MSPs make when creating a SWOT analysis is not being specific enough. Each point should be detailed and specific without a lot of vagueness. Though you can certainly be general, such as writing down “increase sales,” you should have an idea of how to do it. This will help you in the future when it’s time to put your plan into action.
Identifying weaknesses is part of a SWOT analysis, but still, some MSP managers don’t see all of the weaknesses that the company might have. So, it might be a good idea to talk to people who might be familiar with your business, such as a good customer, and see what they can tell you about your weaknesses.
No Forward Thinking
It’s easy to come up with ideas to improve your MSP business, but actually enacting those ideas is a totally different thing. The goal of any SWOT analysis is to bring in more money by sales and to look for new opportunities. But, if you don’t follow through, you won’t ever see the results that you are seeking. So, start by making realistic goals, i.e. one month, six months, one year, etc, and then meet those goals in order.
Being Realistic About Your Opportunities
Yes, it’s very exciting to look at new opportunities, it’s also important to look at them realistically. In other words, try not to make predictions or plan for opportunities that haven’t happened yet. For instance, you might be looking at increasing your client base by double. However, it’s unlikely that you would do this in a month. So, push that back a few months or even years, and focus on feasible plans in the present.
Misunderstanding the SWOT Analysis Process
Finally, make sure you aren’t relying on SWOT analysis as your only tool. even though SWOT analysis is an excellent tool for any MSP and it can offer valuable insight, it is not the only business planning tool out there. Instead, use SWOT analysis for what it is, and realize that there is more to understanding an MSP business than a SWOT analysis can tell you.