The most successful practices have two things in common: 1) They understand where they fit, and 2) They are authentic to this fit in everything they do.
Let’s focus on how to understand where your practice fits. An important first step is to evaluate against your competitors. Create a simple grid and measure where your practice stacks up on product, price, convenience and experience.
But don’t just stop at “What are my competitors doing?” To understand your ‘fit’ properly you must also look within your practice and evaluate outside factors in the marketplace. A commonly used tool is the SWOT analysis. Basically, SWOT analysis documents your practice’s internal Strengths (S), Weakness (W) and outside Opportunities (O) and Threats (T).
Taking the time to perform a SWOT analysis is an important step to understanding where you ‘fit’ in the marketplace. Here are questions to ask yourself to help you get started.
- In what does your practice excel?
- How strong is your market position?
- Is there a clear strategic and tactical direction?
- What does your practice do poorly?
- In what ways could your practice be improved?
- Is your practice technology capable?
- What obstacles do you face?
- Is pricing weak? What are competitors doing?
- Is there a change in technology, legal or the economic environment?
- What favorable situations exist in the marketplace?
- Can you take advantage of interesting trends or changes in technology?
- Are you entering new markets? Can you expand your revenue base?
Strengths and Opportunities are those that will be helpful to achieving your practice objectives. Weakness and Threats can be harmful or hinder practice achievement in the current market place. All four are key to gaining a better understanding of where your practice ‘fits’.
Check back on June 20 for part 2 of this blog post where we will dive into what it means to be “authentic”.