What About Me? Internal Analysis

This post, performing internal analysis, is the second in a series on annual planning (third if you count the original annual planning post, about which this series goes into greater detail).

Last week we talked about scanning your external environment, to determine what's going on around you. Today we're scanning the internal environment. That sounds less weird and anatomical when you're talking about a company rather than a person, but the concept is the same.

The following are questions you should ask yourself about your situation, your capabilities, and your weaknesses during the annual planning process.

The rest of this post in PDF format, so you can print it off and fill it out

Internal Analysis Questions

A. Your Structure
How is your monetization structured at present? Is it centralized -- from one source -- or spread out among many streams of income?

Is the decision-making authority centralized (you make all decisions yourself) or decentralized (you consult your partner, your parents, your boss, or others before making money decisions)?

Monetization TypePercent of Income
Information Products (website, book, blog, )
Business (passive income)
Investment (stock dividends, real estate rental, venture capital)

B. Your Culture
Do you have a well-defined or emerging set of beliefs, expectations, and values? Are these values consistent with your current objectives, strategies, policies, and programs?What do your values say about the important issues facing you (eg on changing societal expectations or economic difficulty?)Are there conflicts between the values of society and your values? If so, how are you resolving them?

C. Resources
a. Marketing
What do you do to get your name out there? Are you well-known in your field (brand awareness)? Among those who do know you, for what are you known (brand identity)?Overall, is marketing a strength or a weakness to your making money?

b. Finance
What is your financial situation? Healthy and happy? Just getting by? In debt and falling fast?
How much money could you invest in a monetization start-up right now? $10 will buy a domain name for a year; $100 is what my boyfriend used to start his small business; $300 will buy you a laptop for creating your products; $1000 will let you launch an ebay store and stock your virtual shelves.
How much money could you invest in a monetization scheme on an ongoing basis? $25/month will buy you a shopify store; $1000/month will let you open a physical location.
Overall, is finance a strength or a weakness towards your making money?

c. Research and Development (Lifetime Education)
How well do you keep up with current trends? Are you on the lookout for more ways to help people? What “products” (ways to provide value) do you have lined up for consideration to offer?Do you have a good grasp of the tools available to you for monetizing your value? Are you familiar enough with website-building, book-publishing, running a business, owing a job, and investing cash that you can decide which option is best for each value you provide?
What are you doing or considering doing to improve your ability to create and provide value?
Overall, is R&D a strength or a weakness for your making money?

d. Operations and Logistics
Do you have the tools and resources you need to do your job? Whatever you’re doing to make money, are you doing it as efficiently as possible? Or could you work better if you changed your procedures, your schedule, or bought new tools?
What tools, procedures, or training might you need to implement your plans for the upcoming year?
Overall, is Operations a strength or a weakness for your making money?

e. Information Systems
Do you have the information you need to do your job? When you go to find information for your work, do you know where to find it? Does your filing system allow you to keep relevant information, and to find it again quickly?
Are you adding things to your information system on a regular basis?
Overall, is Information Systems a strength or a weakness for your making money?

Internal Analysis Summary
Now decide which of the above factors is the most important to you. The print-off gives you room for 5 of each (strengths and weaknesses), but try to limit yourself to 2-3 of each. Just like for the external analysis, go through your internal analysis list and determine what ought to be done about each item: how can you best make use of your strengths, and repair or mitigate your weaknesses?

Next Week
SWOT Analysis: Where Do We Stand Overall?

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