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What is a SWOT Analysis - and Why Every Nurse Entrepreneur Needs to Do One

Entrepreneurs Article   (875 Views | 0 Replies | 755 Words)

Elizabeth Hanes has 12 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Freelance Writer, 'the nurse who knows content'.

6 Followers; 10 Articles; 9,070 Profile Views; 275 Posts

Marketing 101 for Nurse Entrepreneurs: SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis gives you valuable business insight to propel your venture to success.

What is a SWOT Analysis - and Why Every Nurse Entrepreneur Needs to Do One

Throughout your nursing career, you’ve dealt with a plethora of abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms. A few you may be familiar with:

  • RN
  • APRN
  • FAAN
  • CRNA
  • ACLS
  • STAT
  • PRN
  • NPO

The list could go on nearly infinitely, but I’m sure you get the gist.

The marketing world has its own abbreviations and acronyms that you should get familiar with to enhance your chances for success as a nurse entrepreneur. One of the most important of these is SWOT.

What is a SWOT Analysis?

SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. A SWOT analysis is an exercise every nurse entrepreneur should complete not just once, when starting up a business, but regularly through the years as business conditions change.

A SWOT analysis requires you to frankly analyze your business and the climate in which you’re operating. Performing a SWOT analysis delivers key business intelligence that can help you hone your business decisions and marketing initiatives for a greater return-on-investment (ROI).

Elements of a SWOT Analysis

You can find plenty of templates for  SWOT Analyses on the web. Generally, these look like a four-box grid. The two boxes in the upper half of the grid contain factors you can control regarding your business. The two boxes in the lower half contain external factors you cannot control within the overall business climate.

Completing a SWOT Analysis

To complete a SWOT analysis, simply create the grid, and fill it out. Like this:

1. Label the upper-left quadrant “Strengths.”

Here, you should list your company’s unique differentiators: what things set your business apart from all the others in the same niche?

Let’s say you’re setting up a new business as a private care manager. Perhaps you list three to five strengths like:

  • Services provided by an APRN (you)
  • Focused only on a narrow population group (let’s say people over age 65 with diabetes)
  • Only provider in your geographic area

2. In the upper-right quadrant, write “Weaknesses.”

In this box, you should list both your internal business weaknesses and also ways in which your competitors are stronger than you are. Your list might say:

  • Services not provided by an MD
  • Limited service hours as a one-provider business
  • Small marketing budget

3. In the lower-left quadrant you should list “Opportunities.”

This refers to external factors that give your business the chance to succeed and expand. For example:

  • Diabetes rates increasing in target population within our community
  • More seniors moving into the area
  • New grant available to nurse entrepreneurs

4. In the lower-right quadrant, list external “Threats” against your business success.

The list should only include factors you can’t control, such as:

  • Proposed business tax increase
  • Recent acquisition of competitor by globally known brand
  • Regulatory changes making it easier for non-local companies to do business

How to Use Your SWOT Analysis

This exercise should take some time to accomplish. You may need to spend days contemplating your top strengths and weaknesses. You may have to perform research to identify the top opportunities and threats.

Once you’ve completed the SWOT analysis, make it part of your business and/or marketing plans. Use this business intelligence to make strategic business and marketing decisions that will provide great ROI. Using the example above, maybe this means using your small marketing budget for only a few high-value initiatives and aggressively pursuing media coverage to take advantage of the free publicity.

You should revisit your SWOT analysis whenever your business (or the business climate) changes in some significant way. For instance, if a new competitor moves into the area, or if you become so successful you take on a partner.

I hope every nurse entrepreneur now understands the value of performing SWOT analysis and understands how to do it. But if you have questions, please put them in the comments!

Elizabeth Hanes BSN RN is 'the nurse who knows content.' For a decade she has helped major healthcare brands communicate with their target audiences to build relationships and drive business results. Learn more about Elizabeth at RN2Writer.

6 Followers; 10 Articles; 9,070 Profile Views; 275 Posts

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