Entrepreneurs know they need to formulate a business plan to have a good idea of the monetary, human and material resources they need to make money. Carwash owners should be realistic about what their businesses bring to the community in which they want to be located.

As part of the planning process, operators can conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, or SWOT, analysis. This exercise helps owners be realistic about their business environments. It also helps them overcome any possible obstacles that may exist.

According to brw.com, a SWOT analysis identifies a company’s value in the community, as well as how a carwash is different from its competition. It helps owners formulate goals and objectives.

“Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors which you have some control over, whereas opportunities and threats are commonly driven by external market factors,” states the article. Knowing what these are can help ensure your business is not negatively affected by unforeseen problems.

With strengths and weaknesses, the focus is on the present, notes the article, while the focus is on the future when it comes to opportunities and threats.

The article offers five tips to help startup owners effectively use a SWOT analysis.

  1. Use SWOT to bring your team together. Use the formation of your SWOT analysis in a session that involves your team, advises the article. You can also involve trusted advisors like accountants or business advisers.
  2. Narrow your focus to create opportunities from your strengths. Know what you do well and use that to your advantage.
  3. Don’t ignore your weaknesses. Think about how you can turn weaknesses into strengths and threats into opportunities, states the article.
  4. Identify obstacles to your growth. Address these threats and mitigate them before launching your business.
  5. Compete on your own terms. Compare your SWOT analysis with that of your competitor, reports the article. Know how your business benefits your customer in areas where your competitor is weak.

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