SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These are the internal and external factors that help or hinder a business. A SWOT analysis takes a candid look at these marketing conditions. Personal shoppers can use SWOT analysis to develop more effective advertisements, target lucrative customers and more. Each SWOT analysis is as unique as the business or individual it examines. Once you understand the concept behind the letters, developing your own report is easy.
Strengths are positive characteristics that set you apart from the competition. You can control strengths because they are internal marketing factors. The strengths section of your SWOT should highlight your unique competitive advantages. Personal shopper strengths develop from your relationships with customers (established client list), special skills (fashion sense) and service techniques (home or office delivery).
Weaknesses are your professional shortcomings and are internal marketing factors. Every personal shopper has weak points. Identify yours and catalogue them in the weaknesses section. Look at your services from the point of view of the customer. Has there been miscommunication between yourself and the client or difficulty in fulfilling an assignment in a timely manner? If you have trouble seeing your own flaws, current clients may be able to point out problem areas.
Opportunities are beneficial external market conditions from wide-sweeping financial and social trends. Opportunities open doors for all personal shoppers in the market. Because they are external you cannot create or control marketing opportunities. You can, however, use them to improve your bottom line. Research consumer trends occurring in your market and present them in the opportunities section. For example, executive-level clients typically work longer hours, thus limiting their time for shopping, yet there is increased social pressure to dress fashionably.
Threats are the flip side of opportunities. These are external conditions that determine the ultimate success or failure of a personal shopper. The threats section of a SWOT analysis must identify the financial and social trends that could have a negative impact on business. For example, clients may have decreased clothing budgets due to economic downturns; or the growing popularity of gift registries and wish lists make it easy to pick a gift without help.
Promote strengths in your advertising. Rectify weaknesses if the benefits outweigh the costs. Capitalise on trends before competitors and create strategies to lessen the effects of threats. You can also use your SWOT to identify potential customers. Target individuals that do not put much weight on your weaknesses and value your strengths. For example, entertainers could benefit from a personal shopper that can pick out great clothes for the red carpet but has little expertise in selecting business attire.