Business Students Complete a SWOT Analysis for Local Business

Posted by on October 10, 2012

By Minnie Wagner

Students from Small Business Management class completed a SWOT analysis for Fast Frames in Lakeville for Early Fall quarter meeting objectives: “define small business and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.”

Direct Quotes from student reflection papers regarding fast frames project are below.

“After you have come up with a business idea and the way that you would like to start your business two things that should be done to help get your business going to succeed would be to perform a SWOT analysis and create a business plan.  During this quarter our class completed a SWOT analysis for two different businesses  one of them a current business called Fastframes located in Lakeville, MN, and one of them a current business student.  After completing these two SWOT analyses this really helped me realize how helpful they can be in discovering the areas that your business could work on and the possible threats to be aware of.”- Chase F.
“The start of every journey begins with a single step.  In Small Business Management, I learned about various types of small businesses.  Whether, it is a franchise or a start up, for example: we discussed the type of start up ideas and identifying the right opportunity for which a business can be successful.  Our “hands on” approach with SWOT analysis of a local Lakeville small business ‘FastFrame’ and the major factor in realizing that it’s one thing to have a good idea, but another to be able to execute it.  FastFrame in Lakeville is a franchise company that utilized a Type C idea to provide a better product and service for their customers.  After learning about FastFrame and Renick’s background, the class was tasked with a hands-on drafting of a SWOT analysis of the business.  I initially thought that the assignment was simple, but once we all began to share our thoughts and ideas, the process became much more involved than I expected.  We looked at multiple areas of strengths the business provides, be it the thousands of custom framing options, to the face-to-face customer experience each person receives upon entering the shop.”- Eric P.


“I was able to analyze the business and determine the strengths and weaknesses with the operation.  I had had much more information about the market for frames and his competitors.” – Joel N.
“I learned that a SWOT is an assessment of concise overview of a firm’s strategic situation.  I also learned that it is important to write a SWOT for your new business.  You need to know the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for your business.  Knowing this information about your business may give you an advantage over your competitors.” -Kathleen L.
“My favorite part about this class was when we did the SWOT analysis for FastFrame and a SWOT analysis for Joel’s future business.  I thought Glenn’s business was neatly set up.  Everything was still very easy to view.  The large inventory of frames and the different types of glass to choose from were interesting.  Our field trip to FastFrame helped me to understand more detailed information about Glenn’s business and his workshop.” – Serena G.


“SWOT analysis was not new information for me but it was a great recap to put into my long-term memory better.  If and when I choose to open my own business, I will definitely have to utilize the SWOT analysis to see the big picture of how I feel I am prepared to start the business I may choose.” -Tamara R
“I have learned a lot about preparing a SWOT analysis for small business.  You can basically determine how well your business will be or develop by preparing one of these as well.  For me in this class gives me my hope of starting my own business or even opening up a franchise which I have and am still doing my research in, I would ultimately like to have a Little Caesars and a Dunkin Donuts franchise.” -Troy O.


Response from Glenn: “Thank you for including my business in the SWOT project for your students. It was an interesting experience from my end. The variables and factors identified by your students were very similar to those we have identified as part of our own analysis. Because our business deals in the creation of unique products that are custom designed and fabricated individually for each customer, identifying the critical factors is perhaps more of a challenge than with a typical retail, manufacturing, or service business. Your students, for the most part, appeared to recognize this. While we will probably not make any operational changes, as a result of this exercise, that we haven’t already planned, we will proceed with more confidence because of the reinforcement from this exercise. We will be happy to participate in future exercises of this nature.”

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