Our SWOT Analysis

Following on from the news of the impending cheese ban within advertising for under 12′s, we have decided that we really need to make our business plan a working document that we use continually. When we originally completed our business plan, Matthew had listed changes in consumer tastes as one of the threats within our SWOT, having read that some mice were reducing their cheese intake and were eating more fruit and even dark chocolate. China has become a colossal potential market for consuming more dairy produce with their growing middle classes.

This new regulation has excluded diet fizzy drinks from its ban.  It just seems bizarre that cheese, with its ‘good fats’ and excellent nutritional value is banned while it is still seen as acceptable to advertise diet fizzy drinks to under 12s.

What is important to us is that we have now listed this impending cheese ban under the ‘Threats’ part of our business plan.  So many businesses seem to complete a business plan for the bank manager and then file it away in a drawer and never look at it again, perhaps finding it years later when they are having a clear out. Then, they might look at it and think ‘oh, yes, we were planning to do that….. now why didn’t we?’.  We are determined to use our business plan as a working document and review it regularly.

For now, we have to come up with ideas for this ‘threat’.  We must make plans for the short-term – how we will make the most of the publicity cheese is receiving. After all, so many journalists are writing about it and so many nutritionists are discussing it. As it gets closer to 1 Jan 2013, this topic will be discussed on radio programmes and will be mentioned in the news. Even negative publicity can be good for business so we must make the most of it.  In some ways, all the extra publicity for cheese in the short term is very much an ‘opportunity’ within our SWOT analysis.

We will also have to make plans for the long-term effects. It might happen that consumers may subconsciously believe that cheese is not good for their children, that they buy less cheese in their weekly shop and see it as an ‘unhealthy’ food.  We need to work out a strategy for dealing with that scenario, whether we work with other cheese producers on campaigns, how we alter our own advertising message and if we can come up with any other ideas.

Do you revisit your business plan regularly or is it lurking in a drawer? Have you had to significantly change an aspect of your business due to impending threats? We’d love to hear your business stories.

And please don’t forget to check out our The Cheese Mall website  and follow us on facebook  and twitter. If you haven’t read our book yet on how we followed various marketing advice to start and launch our business, you can purchase it here as an ebook or as a paperback. We really feel that we need to be part of more business communities as after all, it is businesses that will help each other. We’ve seen how much support the #smecommunity give each other on twitter and we  really want to help other businesses and receive advice from others too.

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