Author:
Lou Sokolovskiy
Founder/CEO, Opus Connect
lou@opusconnect.com

Mastering the Art of Business Development Blog Series
Article Seven: How To Perform A Personal SWOT Analysis

Welcome back. We are working on creating our own personal business development plans, which includes the following seven steps:

  1. Perceive Yourself as a Business of One
  2. Create a Mission Statement
  3. Perform a SWOT Analysis
  4. Develop a Personal Brand Strategy
  5. Determine Action Items
  6. Create a Time Budget
  7. Track Your Progress

As a business of one, you can use the same tools as any other business to create a business development strategy, including the subject of today’s article: a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. As human beings, we all have qualities that fall into these four categories and the goal of a SWOT analysis is to develop a comprehensive list of these qualities. This list will then be used to help you develop a strong personal brand and create an action plan.

Let’s look at an example of a SWOT analysis together: Jackie is a junior associate at one of the top law firms in Los Angeles. Jackie makes a great salary at this firm while getting a good deal of experience working in corporate law. However, Jackie’s true passion lies in technology start-ups, and her long term goal is to become in-house counsel at such a company. Jackie went to Cornell undergraduate and UCLA law, and has significant debt from these two schools. She became a wine connoisseur while at Cornell, and belongs to several private wine clubs in addition to being a certified sommelier. She also recently got into art, and loves to visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on the weekends. While Jackie had some good friends in college and law school, she describes herself as an introvert and can be quite shy among people she doesn’t know.

Here is an example of what Jackie’s SWOT analysis might look like:

Strengths

●      Does excellent legal work

●      Diligent

●      Good at dealing with existing clients

●      Well-organized

●      Manages time effectively

Weaknesses

●      Is shy and has social anxiety

●      Not very technologically savvy

●      No current system/plan for business development

●      More than $150K in student loans

Opportunities

●      Wine-connoisseur (Business Development Real Estate?)

●      Network of friends from college and law school

●      Could join the young leadership board of an art museum

●      Frequent contact with angel investors and venture capitalists through current job

●      Firm provides budget for client development

 

Threats

●      Competition from other associates

●      Difficult job market (few in-house positions available)

●      Instability of working for a less established company (start-up)

 

 

 

 

 

You should spend an hour or two performing your own SWOT analysis. Here is a list of guidelines and things to consider:

  1. What are you good at?  What are you bad at? List skills, personality traits, hobbies and passions. Examples: Time Management, public speaking, organization, social skills, etc.
  2. What are some of your past business development efforts? Were they successes or failures?
  3. What organizations are you involved with? What organizations or boards can you join?
  4. What resources do you have to help you with business development? Some firms will reimburse you for meals or give you tickets to sporting events. Some companies have events that you can invite clients to. Or perhaps your alumni or bar association has events that you can attend.
  5. How good are your contacts? Think about people you went to school with, friends, family, etc.
  6. Who can you ask to be introduced to?  Who can you introduce to each other?
  7. Can you create Business Development Real Estate™ or something unique?
  8. Are you engaging in some type of marketing? Examples are a monthly emails to friends, a blog, or posting content on your LinkedIn profile.
  9. How do you compare to other colleagues?
  10. How have others in your field been successful in business development? Can you find a role model/mentor? Set up an informational interview(s) and learn what worked for them.

By understanding your strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities, you will be able to build a personal plan that optimizes your potential. In the next few articles, we will be discussing how you can build a personal brand strategy based on your mission and SWOT analysis. Stay tuned.