4 Ways to Determine Your School Store’s Market Position

Photo courtesy of @PatriotProShop on Twitter.

Understanding the best-practices of your school store can maximize the success of your venture by assisting your team in knowing where to focus your time, energy and resources.

One of the most effective ways to discover these focal points is the tried-and-true SWOT Analysis, as discussed by 1 Million Cups 

What is a SWOT Analysis? 

SWOT stands for:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threat

A SWOT Analysis is a way for you to analyze your business’s current situation in order to best position it in the market.

Let’s break it down and look at each component individually:


Strengths can be tangible, such as financial resources or adequate equipment, or intangible, such as a team’s commitment to the mission or effective executive leadership. Identifying the strengths of your store provides a picture of what assets are available to help you reach your business goals, and developing these strengths can increase your store’s capability.

Action Step: Write out the strengths of your SBE.


Weaknesses can also be tangible or intangible, and could include things such as insufficient equipment or a lack of focused direction. Once identified, though, many of these weaknesses can be strategically eliminated.

Action Step: Write out the weaknesses of your SBE.


Opportunities relate to the external market environment and are ways in which you can better position your business for growth. Opportunities could include developing a mutually-beneficial partnership with another business, introducing a new line of products or updating your technology.

Action Step: Write out the opportunities you observe that could grow your SBE.


Threats are external factors that have potential to undermine the success of your business. Threats can range from a change in technology, to new school policies. Unlike weaknesses, threats cannot necessarily be controlled, but they can often be managed.

Action Step: Write out what threats could affect your SBE.

Core Competencies

Thinking through these four areas by conducting a SWOT analysis with your team can provide insight into your business’s core competencies. Core competencies are, “the skills and tasks at which you excel and are valued by your customer,” and that also give your business a competitive advantage.

Action Step: What competencies set your store apart from the other merchandise locations?

This article was written by Spirit Factory, a DECA National Advisory Board partner and Corporate Social Media Correspondent. Learn more about Spirit Factory and how it can help your DECA chapter or SBE here, and check out the Spirit Factory Blog for more SBE tips!


Categories: Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Comprehensive Learning Program, School-based Enterprises, Teaching Resources