Part 1 of 3: Making Obstacles Work for You
Starting a business can feel a lot like preparing for a vacation. Sometimes this takes the form of a checklist. Other times it’s a frantic search around the house, running and grabbing a coat, some sneakers, a pair of flip flops, and your noise-cancelling headphones, right? You’re quick to imagine a tropical paradise, isolated away on the beach, lulled to an oceanic nirvana. In reality, it’s cumbersome enough making sure you drive to the right airport to get on the right plane!
A business, in its own way, is a vacation. You’re forging your own path. You’re going your own way. I could not be a bigger advocate of this lifestyle and your choice which is why I’m letting you in on this tried-and-true tool:
The purpose of SWOT is to give you clarity: a full, objective picture of all the forces affecting your business. Divided into four sections, SWOT separates the helpful from the harmful.
Internal origins are influences from within.
They are your assets (strengths) and your liabilities (weaknesses) of an online tutoring business. As an online tutor, these assets are personality traits (adaptable, enthusiastic, and patient) as well as technical skills (presentation skills, Mac and PC proficiency, webcam savvy, etc). Your strengths are also your education and your experience. Most importantly: Your passion for education is a strength. Liabilities (weaknesses) are also personality traits and technical skills. This is the best time to be brutally honest with yourself and find out what you can learn before you get your client base, and what you can learn along the way.
External origins are influences of your environment.
Opportunities can include: continuing education classes, a computer class, attending a networking event, making business cards, society’s greater acceptance of online education, flexibility to work from anywhere in the world, former coworkers and colleagues, ultimately anything or anyone that could help establish or grow your business.
Threats are exactly that: threats. Threats to an online tutoring business include the dozens of platforms offering free education (such as Khan Academy), MOOCs (massive open-online courses available to anyone for free or a low fee), the cost of doing business, and your competition. Find your competition. Learn about them as if you’re going to utilize their services. Then do your business better.
Businesses of all sizes, from population: you to multinational corporations utilize SWOT Analysis on a regular basis.
What other internal and external factors could help or harm an online tutoring business? Let us know in the comments below!