This question requires you to take a good look in the mirror to determine what your weaknesses are as they apply to your business.
If you are an existing business and you are simply updating your strategic brand messages, the question shouldn’t be too difficult to answer. After all, you’ve learned how to make inroads despite your weaknesses.
If you’re just getting started, however, it can be a bit humbling to list your weaknesses.
This part of the SWOT exercise is very important when it is time to market, because your customers will know if you’re trying to gloss over your weaknesses. That doesn’t mean you have to shout them from the rooftop. You just have to be honest.
When you are ready to write (or update) your strategic brand messages – you can skillfully address some of your weaknesses in a way that differentiates your business from the competition. For example, while you might feel that it’s a weakness to be a small, startup firm in your industry; your customers might like to know that they will receive personalized, hands-on attention from the owner of the business.
Or, you might not have a lot of working capital (weakness). But when you tell your story, you can talk about how bootstrapping keeps you lean and mean. Or, as blogger Neville Hobson
writes, “In many ways, it's easiest to define a bootstrapper by what she isn't: a money-raising bureaucrat who specializes in using other people's money to take big risks in growing a business.”
You’ll soon learn that there’s an honest, creative way of addressing many of your weaknesses. And those that you can’t “fix” through messaging can be cured by taking a workshop or finding free one-on-one assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration. There’s sure to be an SBA outpost
within driving distance -- or maybe right around the corner from where you live.