Threats to me? The Jousting

I continue with the development of personal STHO with an external factor, threats. I have already discussed the internal factor of Weaknesses and also that of Strengths.

External factors are those that are beyond our control, affect the market, to the economy… It's harder to deal with, because they depend not on us but on factors “Macro”. These are threats and opportunities, and we'll focus this post on the threats of our environment.

Top threats in a personal DAFO

I identify the following:

  • Competition
  • Technology (or lack of it)
  • Process automation
  • Regulation
  • Negative market trends
  • The fight against #LoGratisMata

The Competition

My good friend Xavi Roca distinguishes between two extremes when it come to competition, what he calls the perfect competition framework and monopoly. Of course, in between there are places.

Perfect competition refers to what we would call such a saturated market of undifferentiated competitors. In this situation there is no possibility of profit.

At the opposite angle would be monopoly, a limbo in which other competitors are unable to imitate the leader. Perhaps it is also because the market is very small and does not justify greater presence of anyone else.

The case is How to tackle the competition? I'm not a specialist., but there are a number of guidelines that should be followed:

Identify competitors: Today it's easier to do this by monitoring keywords on the Internet, but also going to conferences, Fairs, reading -if it exists- industry press…

Analyze whether we are dealing with cloned or differentiated positionings. Imagine you sell Iberian ham Have you created your own brand? Own packaging? Own distribution channels? Do you sell brand or product? What communication channels do you use? Do you sell it with wine and cava pairing? Which one, in short, your value proposition?

Search for other markets or formats. Here comes into play internationalization, but also looking for smaller markets where we can lead (mouse head). That's at the same time as the liontail strategy..

Analyze the complementarity of a possible alianzTo. My friend Andrés Pérez Ortega he calls it co-optence. It's about UTES, but personal. When several independent professionals come together to tackle a large project they wouldn't be able to access alone. Are collaborative projects and already represent a very large percentage in the economic field of independent companies and professionals.


Many professionals have had to disappear or reinvent themselves because they do not adapt to the technological development of a market. Or the lack of it.

Having a tractor that can plant a field remotely and via satellite means a threat to those who don't have it and an opportunity for those who are willing to make a major investment.

The digital transformation of our society advances in geometric progression, and today you don't understand a professional activity without mastering tools like the cloud, Videoconference… Consulting firm Roca & Salvatella ready 8 digital skills for professional successL that we must take into account.

I also include here cyber-threats as viruses, Malware, phishing and all these kinds of new digital crimes that force us to be very cautious.

Process automation

It is a consequence of the development of new technologies. It will pose a threat when a machine can do our job more effectively. And it will be an opportunity when we are the ones who automate our processes to be effective.

The long tale. Giving face-to-face training offers a clear limitation. A formative app, although a priori implies small income per student can expand the market by thousands of students.

I lived closely the twilight of a professional of the best in real estate mastership. An artist. He didn't see the advent of CAD design programs or 3D printing, two of the many advances that have automated the process.

Without being a catastrophic, many of today's professions will disappear with process automation. Amazon you're already experiencing a supermarket “no queues” called Amazon GO. Here's operation:


The change in legal frameworks, economic and labour issues can pose a serious threat. Laws that limit our activity, new taxes that make profitability unworkable. In Spain, For example, being self-employed is highly penalised from a regulatory point of view compared to other countries in their European environment.

Negative market trends

If your market is very subject to fluctuations, you're in a position of threat. For example, petroleum derivatives, foreign exchange markets, metals…

You are also at risk of threat if your market is paper or paper printing and more and more ebooks are sold every day. Or if every day we dispense with regular mail on invoices… and we consult it via the Internet.

Everyone should know where their market is going. A very powerful tool that will tell us if we are on track is Google Trends. For example, we analyze the words “Advisor”, “Consultant” And “coach” And “Mentor” in recent years 10 years in Spain. Why have so many real estate companies decided to redefine the most real estate coaching? Here you have the answer:


threats in market trends
Source: Google Trends

Free kills

I've already used this expression in other Occasions. I mean the threat that assumes that many services that were previously paid for are now free. At least in appearance. I've found a recent case. Personal brand training in open workshops. No one is willing to pay to learn. What are you doing? Turn to business courses, town halls, meps…

Analyzes whether this threat in your market and position yourself in “the other side”. I explain myself. Following the example, offer yourself to companies to be a trainer or to the town halls…


As a conclusion, whatever threat it is, the most important thing is to identify her in time. Enough time to react and redefine your business model. Have a great week.

Tsunami image by Shutterstock

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