Self-knowledge is essential in decision-making, but in business it can only achieve so much. As a business owner, you are privy to the stiff competition in the complementary and alternative health market. Thus, to gain a competitive edge and boost your bottom line, you must make well-thought-out decisions.
To the uninitiated, proper organisational decision-making may appear to be an extremely easy task. But considering the intricacies and details involved, it can be a taxing undertaking. Proper organisational decisions require meticulous planning and proper consideration of all the key business aspects that might affect your complementary therapy service. To make impactful business decisions and drive positive outcomes, you must analyse wide-ranging factors.
Decision-making can seem like a monumental task, so having a SWOT analysis always comes in handy. Conducting a SWOT analysis can help you strategically position your complementary therapy business and tailor your services to meet your target market's needs.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
You have probably heard about SWOT analyses. A SWOT analysis is a technique used to analyse business strengths and weaknesses, and explore threats and opportunities.
You can apply a SWOT analysis to a single department, individual, or even your entire complementary therapy business. Most businesses use SWOT analyses to determine how close their business is aligned to its objectives for success and establish how a particular project is performing.
Breaking Down the SWOT Analysis Process
Some therapists may only think about the obstacles they encounter while running their business. As aforementioned, doing a SWOT analysis requires you to look at your business' strengths, weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities. Hence, it is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Interestingly, the SWOT analysis can help you have a positive perspective of your complementary therapy practice, which you have never had before.
Now, let's understand what each element in SWOT means:
This is the first element of SWOT. It addresses the things that your practice does so well. Strengths could be things like;
- You have a unique selling proposition
- Your practice is well established in your area
- You have excellent expertise within your practice
- You have a steady workflow, or
- Your complementary therapy centre is situated in a lovely, well maintained, and welcoming setting.
After identifying your strengths, it's time to analyse your weaknesses. What's holding your complementary therapy practice back? Weakness can include your prevailing financial obstacles or inadequate skilled personnel.
Below are other weaknesses that could be plaguing your complementary therapy clinic:
- Your practice does not have an online presence yet
- Inadequate administration support within your practice. In this situation, most admin work gets done on weekends In the worst-case scenario, you do not maintain proper records to prepare comprehensive financial statements
- You have poor complementary therapy facilities
- You have not updated your marketing content to attract more customers.
This element also includes weaknesses in relation to other businesses, such as a lack of unique selling proposition in a crowded market.
When you cannot keep up with leads generated from your marketing project, that's an opportunity missed! Is your practice developing an innovative idea that will increase your client base? That's what you should focus on.
Below are some opportunities you should leverage to grow your complementary therapy business:
- Your Doctor friend is opening his clinic in a certain location, and there is extra space on their premises. And they are willing to have an onsite complementary therapy practice. That's an opportunity you should exploit to expand your business
- A colleague has put forward your practice to provide employee assistance program work during an upcoming restructuring
- A local community is looking for presenters on health issues for its upcoming health talk series
- A local high school is looking for a part-time student counsellor.
Simply put, opportunities are anything you could do for your practice to boost sales, grow your practice, or progress your practice's missions.
The last SWOT element is threats. Threats include everything that can inhibit your complementary therapy clinic's growth and development. This could include things such as:
- New practices have been opened in town. They have good websites and provide online counselling. They have weekend services for regular clients and emergencies. While your complementary business lacks an online presence, you might also not be operating on weekends. And when addressing administrative stuff, you do not attend to clients. That is a big threat to watch out for
- The new all-inclusive centres in town provide wide-ranging services and energy-based modalities at cheaper prices compared to what you charge your clients
- Emergency costs like a sudden need to make big on-premise repairs that hurt your clinic's financial base.
Other threats to watch out for include emerging competitors, regulatory law changes, and financial risks. These major factors can jeopardise your practice's growth.
How to conduct a SWOT analysis
You can conduct your SWOT analysis in several ways. Regardless of how you choose to structure your analysis, just start by asking some questions. For example, to identify your practice's strengths, you can find answers to the following questions. But the list is not exhaustive.
- What do clients love about your services?
- What does your complementary therapy clinic do better than others?
- What is your unique selling proposition?
- Which resources do you have that other practices lack?
Answering these questions will help you identify your practice's strengths.
Use the same principle to identify your practice's weaknesses. So;
- What do clients hate about your services?
- What complaints are mostly mentioned in customers' reviews?
- What are the challenges in your sales funnel?
- What resources do your competitors have that your practice lacks?
After identifying your strengths and weaknesses, you will find it easier to pinpoint your opportunities and threats. To establish your opportunities and threats, examine what your competitors are doing better and improve on your services. Also, stay abreast with the new complementary therapy trends to stay ahead of the competition.
Why Does Your Complementary Therapy Practice Need a SWOT Analysis?
As a complementary therapy practice business owner, you might be wondering if SWOT analysis is viable for your practice. Although conducting SWOT analyses involves can be daunting, the benefits you derive from the exercise are worth the effort.
One benefit of conducting a SWOT analysis is that it provides deeper insights into your business operations. Thus, it sheds light on your practice, helping you understand your practice's position in the industry and how to outperform your competitors.
Another benefit of conducting SWOT analyses is that you can apply the technique in various situations. For instance, you can use it to analyse an upcoming marketing campaign's strengths and weaknesses and its looming opportunities s and threats.
As a bottom line, a SWOT is a necessary activity for your complementary therapy practice. With this regiment, be sure to create informative SWOT analyses to grow your practice without any hassle.
If you would like to know more about how IICT helps complementary therapy practitioners save money, build their reputation and grow their business, contact us to find out more about our membership packages.