How a SWOT Analysis can support your strategic planning
Posted on 28th January 2019 at 10:45
Would you like a simple yet effective tool to get an insight into your business’ state of affairs? A SWOT analysis could do the trick.
It not only allows for analysis of your whole business but can also give insights into each of your departments.
The acronym SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Benefits of a SWOT Analysis
The main benefit of a SWOT analysis is its ease of use. With a little bit of thought it can help uncover both internal and external factors affecting your company. It helps to identify areas of focus, supports goal setting and initiates further analysis, if necessary.
As your organisation grows, it is beneficial to conduct a SWOT analysis to take stock and focus your mind as to where to put your efforts to take your business to the next stage. You need to conduct an open and honest session with people from each team or department, looking at what is going well and why, as well as areas that need more focus. In addition, you need to look outside of your organisation to be able to take advantage of potential opportunities and be prepared for possible threats to your business.
How to conduct a SWOT Analysis
You start with a blank sheet of paper (or white board) and create four quarters as follows:
Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. You have control over them. These can be team skills, product attributes or intellectual property.
Opportunities and threats are external factors. You cannot change them but it is up to you how you react to them. These can be economic and seasonal changes, prices of raw materials or customer behaviour.
You probably want to run the session similar to a brainstorming meeting. You could start with everyone writing their own notes and ideas to prompt questions which are then added to a combined board later on. This ensure that everyone gets a chance to put their ideas down without the influence of others. You can then vote on everyone’s ideas to determine importance of the different ideas to the whole team. Someone in a strategic position can then make the final decision on priority.
Ideas for SWOT Prompt Questions
What do we do better than anyone else (as a company or as a team)?
What do people in our market see as our strengths?
What’s our USP (unique selling point)?
Where’s our customer growth coming from?
What’s our skillset within the team?
Where’s our biggest financial weakness?
Where do our customers think we need to improve?
Do we have opportunities to improve our project management?
Where are our skill gaps within the team?
What factors are losing us sales?
Are there any new geographical markets opening up for us?
Are there new staff training courses available?
Do you know of any software developments that could help with (a weakness)?
Are there local events we could tap into?
Are there any interesting trends you’re aware of?
Are there new competitors in our market?
Are existing competitors offering new or better products or improved customer service?
Is changing technology threatening our position?
Are there any changes in regulation or legislation that could make things difficult for us?
Are there any trends that could impact us negatively?
How Green Giant Consulting can help
We can offer a Strategic Revision Review where we look at your current business strategy and where you want to be in the future. We can produce a roadmap and business processes to ensure you achieve your goals.
Please get in touch for a complimentary 2-hour Process Improvement Consultancy session to see how we can help. You can contact Green Giant Consulting today on 0844 259 6210 or visit our Contact page.
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