No enterprise exists without challenges; industrial or those unique to the business. It is very tempting for organisations to focus more on bridging gaps and handling challenges when in fact they can instead focus on leveraging on their current strengths. Certain business strengths become unique competitive advantages for business to not only survive, but also thrive in this highly competitive business environment today. Every business possesses unique strong points which can be translated into a financial boost for the business if carefully considered. It is almost impossible for businesses to leverage on their strengths without a clear understanding of what these strengths are and intentionally choosing to build on these strengths to grow the business. Here are strategies to leverage on your strengths;
1. Conduct a SWOT analysis …objectively
A SWOT analysis involves an understanding of an organisations strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal while opportunities and threats are external. When conducting the SWOT analysis, it is important to engage all your employees to provide a more objective and comprehensive view of the organisation as a whole.
- Strengths describe the positive attributes, tangible and intangible attributes, internal to your organisation. They are within your control. What do you do well? What resources do you have? What advantages do you have over your competition?
- Weaknesses are factors that are within your control (internal) that limit your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge. Which areas might you improve?
- Opportunities are the external factors that your business can tap into to exist and prosper. What opportunities exist in your market, or in the environment, from which you hope to benefit? What factors are potential threats to your business?
- Threats are unfavorable factors beyond your control (external) that could place your business at risk by deteriorating revenues or profit.
As an organisation, what are your strengths; is it your highly competitive team? The strategically focused directors? Is it your networks and connections? Or your unique innovations? With the comprehensive knowledge of what your strengths are, you can, as a business, develop a plan on how to use your strengths to better take on existing opportunities in a way that is beneficial to the company.
2. Understand the strengths (and weaknesses) of your employees and leverage on them
Management should be in position to know the strengths and weaknesses of their employees. As much as it is key to support staff improve in their areas of weakness, management should focus more on engaging staff in their areas of strength or on their positive characteristics as this provides more positive results for the organisation. During recruitment, employers should target on the unique strengths of potential staff and ensure their strengths fit strategically with the organisation.
Engaging staff in their areas of strength have a higher productivity, commitment and there is a higher potential for retention and longevity in the organisation
By Sarah Achiro
Sarah is our Business Analyst . She is a growing consultant with BLEGSCOPE and has 3 years’ experience in consulting for SMEs and in the service sector. She is keen on strategy, finance and procurement. She has previously worked for Riham Foods and MTN. You can follow her on twitter >> @achirosarah