As you manage your journalism business, it’s useful to step back periodically to look at the big picture. Schedule time to look at your overall strategy, how you’re positioning your business, and what your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities are.

Here’s a framework to help you do that, called the five Cs.

Company

  • What are our strengths?
  • What do we do less well?
  • Where are the weaknesses in our product or service?
  • What strengths can we build on in our organization?
  • Which weaknesses do we most urgently need to address?

Customers

  • Who are our customers?
  • Why do they need our product or service?
  • What are their key interests?

Collaborators

  • How can we best align our interests with the interests of our partners?
  • Whom else can we partner with that we haven’t yet reached out to?
  • Whom can we provide benefits to who would, in turn, be helpful to us down the road?

Competitors

  • Who is already in the market?
  • Who might enter?
  • What other products or services do consumers see as an alternative to what we offer?

Context

  • How is the market changing?
  • What technologies, social conditions or other factors might lead to new challenges or opportunities in the months ahead?
  • How might personal issues affect the development of the business in the months ahead?

Related Training: Innovation Tour: Inside America’s Leading News Organizations

Taken from Entrepreneurial Journalism: Running the Business, a self-directed course by Jeremy Caplan at Poynter NewsU.

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