In the non-profit sector in which I work, understanding relative strengths and weaknesses is important to attracting both participants and funding to my program. Therefore, after reading Competitor Analysis, I completed a Relative Strengths Assessment of my program by analyzing five areas: customer satisfaction, facilitator quality, equipment, reputation, and innovative projects.
To complete the analysis, I selected three competitors (kept anonymous here) and rated each of our organizations on a scale of 1 to 10. My analysis is in the table below.
This analysis, however, is not complete. I do not have enough information about the internal strategy of the other organizations to determine if they are improving, declining, or stagnant on each measure. Furthermore, for the sake of this exercise, I did not involve my colleagues or other “industry insiders.” Had I done so, I would undoubtedly have gotten more thorough information to complete the assessment and the scores would inevitably change. My colleagues would also have recommendations for other areas to analyze.
Nonetheless, this table already provides valuable information. Based on my evaluation, we lead the pack on innovative projects and are competitive on customer satisfaction. Given our leadership in these areas (not to mention we are growing in both categories), we can capitalize on these strengths and position ourselves accordingly. In particular, I am confident in our ability to market ourselves as the most innovative program, and we have potential to grow significantly in that area.
As for relative weaknesses, we tie for last place in the facilitator quality category. However, one of my summer projects is to develop better facilitator training and assessment materials before we hire new staff for the fall. Therefore, while this category is stagnant for the time being, I expect it to rise later in the year. It is critical to improve on this relative weakness because it impacts all of the other categories.
For the remaining two categories, my program is in the middle of the pack. I do not strive for first place in the reputation category because this is an area where Organization B will clearly dominate for years to come. As for equipment, we are currently declining because of the age of our computers, but I hope to invest in some new equipment in the next 12 months. Nonetheless, we will likely never have the funding for the quality of equipment that Organization B has.
This assessment aids me in articulating the value of our program and identifying the areas in which we should invest future efforts. That said, this activity would be even more powerful if done in collaboration with my team. I will strive to do so in the coming months.