To SWOT or Not?

You’ve probably all heard the term “swatting a fly”, but what about “swat analysis”? And if you have heard about it, do you really know what it means? Do you ever use it in your business? 

Well…for a start, it’s actually SWOT analysis, which stands for identifying the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in your business. But you can also do a SWOT analysis on yourself, your people or team, your business, your property, your equipment, your ideas, or whatever.

What does a SWOT analysis tell you? How do you do it? How do you use it?

Strengths: What you’re good at. You’ll want to make sure to keep on doing that. This could be specific people, their skills, product quality, or your products USP (Unique Selling Points): the things that make you stand out from the crowd.

Weaknesses: What are your weaknesses and what do you need to work on, or find solutions for? This can be production capacity, perhaps your branding isn’t as stand out as you would like, or your cashflow is an issue, or your production costs are too high. Perhaps your staff need training…

Opportunities: The potential opportunities for the business now and going forwards. This could be an opportunity to scale up, to link with another business, to find ways to automate processes, or perhaps finally that product you love to make is trendy, thanks to something that’s happened on social media.

Threats: These are primary threats or risks to your business. For many small businesses, it can be that all the processes or skills are held in one person, thus they need to stay well and stay active in the business (and write their methods down so someone else can make things, too). Can someone copy your product easily? Could someone else out-compete you on price?  Will the trend pass before you’ve re-couped costs? Once you’ve identified threats, you can think about what you need to do to avoid them or mitigate for.

To do your very own SWOT analysis, all you need to do is to divide an A4 piece of paper, or a whiteboard, or even the back of an envelope, into 4 with two cross-secting lines, and write one of the 4 key words for SWOT in each quadrant. Then get thinking and writing.  Ask your team to do it on your product, the business, or themselves (or on you) as well. Then you can share.

The key for success is honesty: you must write down the facts just as they are. Otherwise it’s a wish list.

Here’s some examples of how identifying these things can help you communicate, sell and grow.

Strengths: One of the strengths in Seedlab Tas itself, we feel, is the diversity of skills in our team as a result of their long and varied careers; a combined experience of over 200 years! Amanda Hinds specialises in the people stuff: human resources, team building and leadership (more on this in a minute).

Ray Butcher has extensive retail, board and management experience at all levels which means he’s a whiz at sorting out the financials and business structural issues as well as pitching to retailers. Plus he trained in Lean manufacturing in Japan.

Darren West is our in-house technology wizard, with a career in everything from startups to blue chip computer technology and software firms around the world. And I have spent many years developing innovative new products in a wide range of categories, from vegetables and fruit to dairy, seafood and alcoholic drinks.

Plus we’re all seasoned coaches and mentors for our participating businesses. And then we have a wider village of gurus as well…


Are you curious about what 2022 could mean for you? Seedlab Sisters is for women who are curious about what their futures could become, about who they could be, and what they could do.

Are you struggling to get your idea off the ground? Perhaps now is the time to think a little deeper about developing that business idea that’s been drifting around in your head for a few years…

Our proven program will help you identify business opportunities and know how to develop them. Seedlab Sisters Cradle Coast is targeted towards women in the West and North-West of Tasmania, but don’t let geography hold you back, we welcome women from throughout Tassie.

We are also for people with an agri-food interest – but again, don’t let that stop you from coming along to our first Workshop and finding out what it’s all about.

It’s FREE, it’s live and online, and we have a series of inspirational women to inspire and inform you.

Announcing our First Workshop: Understanding the power within you. What are your key skills, interests and passions? What’s holding you back?

Date: Thursday 17th February, Times: either 10am-1pm (Daytime) or 7pm-9pm (Evening)

Speakers include Sally Fairless, Sally McCreath and Amanda Hinds, plus the Seedlab Sisters Team.

Sally Fairless is the Director of 8 Bridges, a business management company based in Sydney, NSW.  8 Bridges has helped corporate, multinational and scaleup businesses accelerate their profit growth and navigate complex market challenges. Sally’s career spans across agriculture, pet care, pharmaceutical and retail industries. She has a passion for coaching emerging leaders and supporting community projects in regional Australia.  Sally is a passionate provider of insight and info to our Seedlab Australia businesses, and increasingly in Seedlab Tasmania, too.

Sally McCreath is the founder of Shelduck Farm, a small farmhouse kitchen business, based in Northern Tasmania. Sally will be sharing her story and showing how participating fully in the Seedlab Tas program has helped boost her business confidence and also her sales. She says “from early childhood I was always the sidekick and treated with indifference and this greatly impacted my adult life. Then I collided with Seedlab Tasmania, and now I’m a force to be reckoned with.” We are so very proud to have been a part of Sally’s personal and business growth.

Sally has recently re-packaged her delicious traditional Scottish oatcakes made by hand in Tasmania in new stand out boxes, and is thrilled as her stockists continue to grow; we picked some up recently in Hill Street Grocer, Sandy Bay.

Amanda Hinds is one of our Seedlab team, and at this Workshop Amanda will be talking through some easy to use tools for understanding your self better, that you can also ask your family or team to undertake as well, to help understand each other better. When she has used these tools with our participants, it has really helped them to bring their family along on the journey.  

Amanda says: “Through this workshop you will discover that understanding yourself and others is critical to cultivating productive relationships to enhance your business.  We will address questions such as “What are you great at and what don’t you do so well?  How do you read other people? Can you alter your communication to suit your audience and purpose?”  To succeed in business you need to know your strengths and optimise them and we will share some tools to help you on this journey”.

More info and to register at