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Your personal SWOT analysis

Have you fully explored your personal strengths and weaknesses? After making an assessment of your entrepreneurial abilities, we next suggest you make an honest appraisal of your personal skills and education.

The best way to do this is with a personal SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis, as part of your evaluation of several characteristics:

  • Personal attributes,
  • Business knowledge and skills, and
  • Technical (chiropractic) skills.

The SWOT analysis is a common business tool, but it can also be used for personal analysis. Take a few minutes and do a personal inventory.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Start with internal strengths and weaknesses:

• Strengths. These are the internal positives you can control and on which you can capitalize, such as your business experience, chiropractic education, communication skills, human reslations skills, and organizational skills.

• Weaknesses. These are the internal negatives you can control and which you can work to improve, such as your lack of experience in specific subjects, weak public speaking skills, and negative personal characteristics.

Be brutally honest; don’t hold back on the negatives. You may even find it helpful to ask others about your strengths and weaknesses. While it is not often pleasant to focus on weaknesses, doing so gives you the ability to work on these areas.

For example, if you know you need help in organizational skills or public speaking experience, you can find ways to gain this experience.

Next, look at external opportunities and threats:

• Opportunities. These are the positive external conditions that you can take advantage of, such as the growth of chiropractic as a profession or the lack of chiropractors in a specific area where you want to practice.

• Threats. These are the negative external conditions that you can’t control but whose effect you can lessen, such as negative news articles about chiropractic or lack of knowledge of chiropractic in your area.

Thinking seriously about external situations helps you decide whether you are in the right place physically. If a specific place seems to present many threats and few opportunities, it might be best to consider someplace else.

Building this personal and professional SWOT analysis will give you a better idea of your situation as you prepare to start your practice.

Here’s a Web site that has a template for a personal SWOT analysis: Personal SWOT Analysis - Discover New Opportunities and Manage Threats - Management Training from Mind Tools (www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05_1.htm).

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