For many businesses, prioritizing where to focus your attention can be challenging. Creating a SWOT analysis allows you to identify where focus is needed most.
It is not a one-time fix, it is an ongoing strategy that helps businesses flourish. As you continue to develop your business, using the SWOT analysis can prove extremely effective!
SWOT Analysis is a useful technique to understand the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats your businesses faces.
SWOT analysis is a straightforward model that analyzes an organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to create the start of a marketing strategy.
SWOT can help uncover opportunities that you are well-placed to take advantage of, and help identify the the weaknesses of your business, you can manage and eliminate threats that would otherwise would not be aware of. Strengths and Weaknesses can be internal to your business, while Opportunities and Threats can often be external factors.
It's an easy and effective tool companies can use to get constant temperature on their business. It helps provide a way for organizations to examine both the positive and negative attributes within the analysis to determine how best to compete in the market.
Exercise: Using a piece of paper, fold it to create 4 sections – one section for each category. Alone or with your team, start analyzing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. One by one start creating a strategy on how to approach each one, identifying priorities for each.
When identifying your strengths, it could be helpful to see them in relation to your competitors. For example, if you company is known for World-Class Customer Service, and your competitors are subpar in this area, then it’s a strength.
- What Problem does your company Solve?
- What are your competitive advantages?
- What do people in your market see as your strengths?
- What factors mean that you “get the sale”?
Identifying weakness can be an area where you may need to push hard to get to the truth. Often we don’t want to admit to these, but being able to face the unpleasant truth is imperative to success.
- What could be improved? Key leanings of what’s hasn’t worked in the past
- What feedback has your customer-base given you as a weaknesses?
- What is impacting sales? Are you seeing the best ROI for your Product Pricing & Packaging?
A good approach is looking at ways you can find opportunities in a strength or weakness already identified. Look for areas can you make adjustments to increase revenue growth for the company
- What trends are you seeing in your company? Industry?
- How can technology impact your growth?
- Changes in government policies, population profiles, lifestyle changes, etc.
- Grassroots | local events
Similar to Weaknesses, you will need to really be truthful and find areas where Threats can truly impact your business.
- What obstacles is your company facing now?
- What is the competitor marketplace look like now?
- How is not having digital technology tools threatening your business?
- Where are you with debt or cash-flow?
Revisit your SWOT Analysis regularly – typically every 2-3 months, to identify improvements and/or additional challenges that may arise due to trends, new competition, etc.