By Heather Lopez

Find yourself uttering, “UGH“? Does it seem like everything is going wrong and you can’t do anything to stop it? That’s sort of been what is happening to me lately. However, every obstacle is an opportunity to learn, grow, and take back control.

You see, these outside issues that are affecting your business are known as “Threats” in the business world or in SWOT Analysis lingo.  However, there are ways to use your internal “Strengths” to counteract the external threats. A good way to take back control is to take your external threats and turn them into external “Opportunities.” But you also need to consider your internal  “Weaknesses” too!

My Threat

I need an office in order to start the internship program as required by the universities, but the office deal I had secured fell through when the office owner decided she no longer wanted to sublease her office.

My Weakness

Because the overall agency is very new, my business credit rating is just being established, making it hard to secure an office on my own. My current staff is mostly working virtual, so I have no one else to help me research and secure a local office.

My Opportunity

I noticed several vacant offices in the same building as the one I was supposed to rent. I was told by the woman I was supposed to sublease from, that the offices had been vacant for several months even though the rent is quite affordable. The building is located in a very upscale area and the businesses who are there, do very well in profits. I approached the property manager to discuss renting a vacant office.

My Strengths

I am a good negotiator and I know how to seek out the best way to market people and businesses. I made a proposal to the property manager to get one of the larger, vacant offices for the same price I was going to sublease for, and in exchange, I would assist them to fill the other vacant offices as well as provide an exclusive discount of my services to the other building tenants.

This proposal looks as though it might happen and now I will end up with an even bigger office at the same price. (Plus, the other offices are empty already, unlike the one I was supposed to be moving into.)

I basically took the wrench and helped build my own bigger office, that will also improve my business credit because it will be my own business lease. By filling the vacant offices, I will help drive more traffic in my direction and by offering the building discount, I may turn the tenants into my customers. It is definitely a win-win situation.

As always, comments are appreciated. Tell me how you built something with the wrench that was thrown your way.