SWOT analysis is concerned with identifying your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a great way to recognise what influences your business success, as well as providing a basis to set actions for improvement. How effective the analysis is depends largely on the questions you ask and how honest you are with the answers. Here are some example questions.
What are we really good at?
What are our unique skills?
Where do we outperform our competitors?
What are we really poor at?
What resources are we short of?
Where are we at a competitive disadvantage?
How could we improve our sales?
How could we improve our efficiency?
What new products/services/niche markets could be added?
What regulations are changing?
What products/services are losing demand?
What resources are difficult to find?
What are our competitors doing?
You can do this together with your team but it’s even more powerful if you involve a trusted advisor or friend who has your best interests at heart and is not afraid to ask the more difficult questions.
Overall this type of analysis will allow you to keep focused on your areas of strength, provide renewed ambition, stay aware of your limitations and develop improvement plans, stay ahead of competitors by exploring potentially fruitful opportunities that may have otherwise been neglected, and help you to feel comfortable in the knowledge that you are mitigating any risks. From this you can start to create a one, three and five year business plan that predominantly focuses on providing your customers with great value and more profit for you.
By Andrew Rhodes