A SWOT analysis, which examines strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, is a critical exercise for any business. For a wedding planner, this approach can help analyze current operations, identify areas of opportunity and compete effectively against other local wedding planners. A SWOT analysis helps to organize advertising objectives and tactics to build a strategy that has a high level of impact.
A wedding planner must first identify the strengths of the business before being able to translate these advantages into business growth. These strengths could be years of experience in the wedding industry, a background in interior design that translates into wedding decor set-up, or even a vast network of vendors for clients can choose from. By discerning what comparative advantage your business has in the marketplace, you can begin to develop a strategy that highlights these strengths and conveys them to your target market.
Every business has weaknesses. By identifying them before your consumers do, you can work to minimize their impact. For a wedding planner, you may determine that you have a smaller staff than other local wedding planners, or you may have a higher price point. These are not necessarily things you need to change in your business model, but being aware of them can help you to craft advertising materials that downplay these potential weaknesses. For example, you could spin "small staff" into "personal attention," which gives the possible weakness a positive connotation for the consumer.
Identify areas that your wedding planning business can grow, or the opportunities in the marketplace. For example, if outdoor weddings are becoming more popular in your area, and you have vast experience in planning these events, an array of outdoor wedding venues you work with, or numerous wedding props suitable for an outdoor event, this could be an opportunity for your business to grow. By identifying an opportunity in the marketplace, you can exploit that opening by gearing your messages towards that target market.
Threats differ from weaknesses in that a weakness is generally internal and a threat is external. For example, if there is proprietary wedding planning software that your competition has developed that could help them take away some of your potential clients, that could be viewed as a threat. A do-it-yourself wedding magazine, or a website that helps consumers and potential clients plan their wedding themselves, can also be viewed as a threat to your business. Any outside force that could potentially minimize your flow of business is considered a threat in your SWOT analysis and must be identified. Awareness of potential threats can help you to plan for them in your strategy and marketing tactics.