Previously we’ve shown you how to conduct a SWOT analysis. Part of the analysis that many of us struggle with is the identification of strengths and weaknesses of their company as well as the opportunities and threats of their environment.
In this article, I will guide you through the process of the identification of essential elements of the SWOT analysis. We will take a closer look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats on the example restaurant SWOT analysis.
How to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?
Before we start weighing and ranking all the characteristics, we need to identify them and decide, which are crucial. It’s important to ask good questions. Actually, asking the right questions is one of the most important elements of the SWOT analysis. Or any analysis at all. Stating problems from different perspectives and questioning the essentials is a way to learn. It gives a unique possibility to draw valid conclusions.
Let’s say you are in your thirties. After graduation, you’ve spent a couple of years in some office jobs. Maybe as an accountant or a human resources specialist. However, your dream has always been to run your own restaurant. Ideally, it would be a nice place in a historic part of town. Before you quit the job, it’s wise to do your homework and analyze your situation. Since you’ve decided to do the SWOT analysis for your restaurant, let’s take a look at some examples of strengths and weaknesses. Later we will continue with examples of opportunities and threats.
New restaurant’s strengths
Strengths are the internal and positive qualities of your company. It means that pretty much anything about the business itself can be a strength.
To find out, you can answer some of these questions:
- What are the advantages of the organization?
- What does it do well?
- What do you offer that makes you stand out from the crowd?
- In other words, how will your restaurant be different from other bars, pubs, etc.? Outstanding interior, cuisine unavailable anywhere else?
- What will your guests like about this restaurant? It’s your future business, but at least, you can consult your ideas with potential clients. Or ask what they like about other restaurants and check, which things will be similar to your place.
- What will be the unique benefit for your guests?
- What kind of experience will be available only at your restaurant?
- What are the most valuable resources you have?
- Do you own the place?
- Maybe you have some special top-secret recipes? Or perhaps you have chosen the perfect location?
- What are your advantages regarding people, physical resources, and finances?
- Will you hire an experienced chef?
- Do you have any specific know-how?
- What about finances, how much money do you have?
- Can you count on some credit?
- In which area will your business be most profitable?
- Do you want to make money on drinks, family dinners or organization of parties?
- Do you have plans for growth? Is your business idea scalable? Do you plan to develop a local restaurant chain?
Weaknesses of a restaurant
It’s not surprising that weaknesses are the opposite of strengths. Here we consider all inner qualities, that could be improved.
- What areas do you need improvement on?
- What do unhappy customers say about you? You don’t have any, yet. But it’s good to check on it from time to time.
- What parts of your business are not profitable?
- What causes you to lose sales?
- What are the things you need to avoid?
- What do your competitors do better than your business does? What do they have, that you don’t?
- Where do you lack resources or knowledge? Write down all the things you need to learn, find, discover and gain. Knowledge, business networking, money…
- Is your marketing presence weak?
- Do you have any marketing plan? Have you heard about the 4P of marketing?
- Social media? Do you have a website?
What are the opportunities for a restaurant
Now, let’s get down to the environment. This is a major shift, because strengths and weaknesses are under your control, whereas opportunities and threats come from outside. You can seldom control the weather or legal situation in your country.
- What new opportunities are becoming available in the market? Do people in your area like international chains like McDonald’s, or do they prefer smaller local places?
- How many competitors are on the market? What cuisine and prices do they have? If you lack competition, that’s good. However, if there is plenty of it, that will be a threat.
- How do current trends help your business? Do you know about something that will change for better?
- What is the market missing? Is there a demanding calling, that you can answer?
- Does your competition ignore something that you can play in your favor? They don’t allow pet-lovers to dine with their pupils? Or there is no place for proper business lunch?
- Can you use technology to enhance your business? Maybe you should consider cooperation with some ordering application?
- Are there any policy changes that could help your business?
- Are there new target audiences you have the potential to reach? There may be a demand for gluten-free meals or vegan restaurant. Contrary, maybe people long for a meat-only restaurant? Are there new companies emerging, which workers need lunch delivery?
- Are there related products and services that provide an opportunity for your business?
- Can you identify new funding sources? Have you heard about the new Business Angels Fund, or maybe there is a local initiative coming soon to help entrepreneurs?
How about the threats to a restaurant?
At this point, it’s probably clear, that threats are environmental factors, that are out of your control and may have a negative impact on your business.
- What are entry barriers to the restaurant market?
- What formalities will you need to complete?
- What are the strengths of your biggest competitors?
- Are there potential competitors who can give you competition in the future? Maybe there are new restaurants like McDonald’s going to be opened soon?
- Will you be impacted by an adverse change in the economy? Do people tend to spend more or less money on eating out?
- How are people’s habits changing? What types of cuisine are trending now?
- Are government regulations going to affect you? Maybe there will be more obstacles to running a restaurant?
- Are your key staff members satisfied with their wages and other benefits?
- Will rapidly changing technology impact your business?
What about other businesses?
You can use these tips accordingly to all kinds of businesses and projects. To applicate them, diligence is required. Right questions will guide you through the evaluation of your organization and its surrounding. It will help you not only conduct a proper SWOT analysis but will tell you much about your business as well. It is possible that just by examining these issues, you will learn that you need to change some aspects of your project.
Can’t you do that for me?
I believe that this part of the analysis cannot be done by anyone else, but you. Of course, a business consultant may be helpful by asking the right questions and showing a new perspective. However, you are the one, who knows your business best. Our app can act as support as well. When you decide to use it, then it will assist you by suggesting possible questions and viewpoints.
If you want to know what can a real SWOT for future restaurant look like, stay tuned. Next week we will share with you the story of Eva. She decided to pivot into a new career and open a restaurant. Stay tunned!