Daphne has a great reputation as a teacher and as a professional dancer who has performed overseas. Knowing sign language can only work to her benefit. On the flip side, she has never been self-employed, so she is nervous.
Daphne watches the dancing contests on TV and knows that if she wants to open her own dance studio, now would be the time. Some of her friends can get her on morning TV talk shows, which would convert into wonderful free publicity. On the flip side, she does not know if the health club would fire her.
With the opportunity of dancing being “hotter than ever,” other dancers have started teaching dance. Some are on TV. Some are on the Internet. Some are in her town. Maybe Daphne is too late. Daphne’s SWOT Analysis is available on the Internet.[i]
Daphne identifies these Strengths:
- Great reputation
- Knows sign language
- Savings to cover startup costs
- Understands financial concepts
Daphne identifies these Weaknesses:
- Startup mode
- No experience being self-employed
- No support structure
She can turn Weaknesses into Strengths. She is in startup mode—she has no established vendor relationships and can therefore barter services. She can provide dance lessons to a student in exchange for the student’s father creating and publishing short, promotional YouTube videos. She can attend networking meetings and tell everybody she is opening a dance studio. Daphne thinks she has “no support structure,” but I know she has lunch with happy, self-employed friends on the first Saturday of each month. She doesn’t realize this is already a support structure and a potential Mastermind. With a little work, Daphne can convert these Weaknesses into Strengths and then look for more Weaknesses.
Daphne identifies these Opportunities:
- Dancing is “hotter than ever”
- Friends can get her on TV
- Studio space available
Dancing won’t be “hotter than ever” forever and her friends might not be able to get her on TV if she drags her feet. Daphne found studio space and the math will work for her. She needs to act. These Opportunities won’t last forever. Someone else may get on TV, become the local Dancing Queen, and rent the studio space.
Daphne identifies these Threats:
- Health club can hire someone else
- Other dance instructors
- Difficult to get financing
These are viable Threats. The health club could hire someone else, in which case Daphne would lose access to her loyal customers and no longer have a place to dance at all. This could threaten Daphne’s beautiful plan.
Like Pete, Daphne realizes Opportunities are Threats that need 10 seconds of thinking. Daphne’s health club could hire someone else and fire her. That would be a blessing in disguise and free up Daphne to develop her own studio. Her students are very loyal. They would love to get more time with Daphne, even if that means becoming customers of Daphne Dance Company while maintaining their health club memberships. Other dance instructors admire Daphne—some could become her students and some would send business her way. Daphne thinks financing is difficult to obtain and then remembers she has significant savings that should help her get up and running.
I remind her that her business plan is almost done. She just needs to generate some financial reports, which, for a contract auditor should not be too tough. When she finishes the business plan, she can pursue outside funding.
Mark Anthony Germanos is the author of two books, Escape the Cubicle: How to leave your corporate or government job for something better and How to Make Computer Systems Work for You. He has faith in a slow but sure Sacramento business revival. Sacramento small business owners are leading the way. His second book, Escape the Cubicle, is for those who want to escape cubicle jobs and become successfully self-employed. Escape the Cubicle answers the questions: "How can I grow my business" and "How do I become my own boss."
Mark is the President of Cameron Park Computer Services. As a business owner and computer networking consultant, he has seen habits that successful Sacramento small business owners embrace. He helps Sacramento small business owners embrace those habits to increase their profits, efficiency and happiness. An advocate of Sacramento business revival, Mark believes everybody should run their lives like a small business, perform SWOT Analyses and use social media campaigns to improve business. He used to say “social media is stupid.” That was until he attended a conference and saw how Sacramento small business owners can use social media campaigns as a valuable tool. Since then, he has earned more than $40,000 in business via social media. His Sacramento small business clients also have five-figure returns. Sacramento small business owners that launch social media campaigns give themselves a comparative advantage over those who lag behind. Mark does not do everything, but his clients do receive great results and participate in the Sacramento business revival when they follow his advice.
Mark moved from Chicago and restarted his business in California with a cell phone and a Honda Civic. An active triathlete, he has a life, a dream wife and a dog. For additional details, visit http://markanthonygermanos.com. Twitter: http://twitter.com/markgermanos. Facebook: http://facebook.com/markanthonygermanos. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/markgermanos.