The Importance of Continued Education
Continued education should not seem like an unnecessary burden placed on credentialing professions, but rather the process of on-going learning should be considered an opportunity, an asset to one’s profession. As with any improvement strategy in business, continued education should be thoughtfully considered. A simple analysis of one’s competency status can identify key areas which may warrant improvement or specific attention. Performing a SWOT analysis aids in identifying business or professional characteristics that may present risk or financial opportunity. The SWOT analysis requires a business to audit its operations and capabilities and can be very useful for expanding a marketing or service strategy. The S in SWOT represents all the business or professional STRENGTHS; these are the aspects of the business that best support financial vitality. Opposing business strength is the W of the SWOT analysis – WEAKNESSES. A business weakness may be low competency in particular areas, lack of business knowledge, undercapitalization or any host of other limitations. But as with any weakness the right application of effort can often negate negative outcomes if those weaknesses are identified and rectified before they manifest into collective failure. The O of the SWOT analysis is often the most exciting aspect as it represents business OPPORTUNITIES. Opportunities are those aspects and areas where the business can improve. Different aspects of opportunity are commonly found in market expansion via new marketing or promotional channels, new revenue streams, or a decrease in costs. Opportunities should present a positive outcome and lead to financial stability and growth. But opportunity must be carefully managed, as good opportunity can create a risk if misdirected. The final stage of the SWOT analysis is the T, which represents THREATS. Threats are any number of factors that present risk for some type of loss. Threats are commonly seen in the form of competition, liability risks, lack of capital, inability to deliver products or services, and/or loss of market share due to any number of controllable and uncontrollable factors.