How to conduct a SWOT Analysis for your business?

SWOT Analysis is not a complicated accounts process in business. Rather, in real world it is a fun analysis that requires you to bond with your fellow workers and customers. It stands for:

S – Strengths

W – Weakness

O – Opportunities

T – Threats

SWOT enables you to know the good going and the wrong going within and outside your business that can affect your sale. This analysis helps you to look at the internal and external factors affecting the business. Not all factors are recognizable to the management’s eyes; a SWOT session can help you recognize all that is going bad or good within the company.

Strengths and Weaknesses are to be looked for inside the working model of your business that is significantly under your control. Examples are:

  • Staff
  • Partners
  • Customers
  • Work culture
  • Assets
  • Properties
  • Reputation
  • Geographical area

Opportunities and Threats are the environmental factors that will significantly affect your business and you will have no control to eliminate them. Examples are:

  • Regulations
  • Trends
  • Finances
  • Competitors
  • Weather
  • Economy
  • Traders

Who should do SWOT analysis?

I think every business needs to do SWOT analysis. Be it small business or big, each of them is equally affected by the same set of factors in and out of their business. An analysis will help each business to figure out their future plan of action necessary to keep the business running smoothly.

Furthermore each department head should be unbiased and responsible to run the analysis in each of their areas to extract fruitful and measurable flaws to be worked upon.

How to run a SWOT analysis inside your work arena?

Choose the right people: The right people can be each department heads and the valuable customers. All these people are working towards the betterment of the company and using its services and products with a level of faith. They all are equally capable of pouring the insights over the strengths and the weakness and the possible threats to the company.

Brainstorm with these people: After you have the right people on board, you can start with the set of question which will help you and the people analyze for and against the company in order to improve. All together you can find the key areas and start giving a valuable input.

Complete the queries: The people have filled you in with a lot of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that might pose to the company in the near future. Start compiling them and fill the blanks for a missing insight that you might have. To get started with the process of analysis one needs this questionnaire guide:

To get started consider the following Strengths;

1. What is advantage we have over our competitors?
2. Are we ensuring optimal usage of resources?
3. What customers love of our business?
4. Recognize the valuable asset of the company.
5. What employee advantage we have?
6. What eCommerce developer advantage do we have?

Weakness questions will be;

1. What advantage do the competitors have over us?
2. What are the Complaints of the customers?
3. What is holding us back?
4. What are the Lacking resources?
5. What are the Disadvantages of the team?

Opportunity recognition will be;

1. Potential regulation changes.
2. Unexploited opportunities.
3. New opportunities.
4. Market changing in favorable ways.
5. Economy changing in a positive way.
6. Resources we can acquire.

Threats recognition will be;

1. Competitors that recently entered and the existing ones.
2. Unreliable manufacturer.
3. Scarce supply of resources.
4. Increased goods cost.
5. Declining market.
6. Negative industry changes.

Narrow down: Now you will have to narrow down the problems that need immediate response and can be in the goal list for the coming future. Make a 2*2 SWOT matrix that is actionable. Below is a sample:

Create strategies: The last but not the least step is creating strategy for the analysis results. After the whole lot analysis of your company’s good and bad points and taking into consideration the problems that need to be given attention, one can now form actionable strategies to work towards improving the company’s performance in the future.

We understand that it is not just the present time that needs to be taken in consideration, if it is smooth well enough, but, the business needs to be in constant moderation and for that each factor needs to be considered to frame a better plan of action for the future.

What needs to be done lastly?

The analysis has lead to some strategies formed for certain problems that are actionable in the near future. A list of actions now needs to be sought and placed in each of the quarterly calendar of the business year. This should be analyzed keeping in mind the outcome is fruitful in the near future.

Strengths should be absolutely juiced out and the weaknesses should be worked upon and minimized to a great extent. The opportunities available should be exploited and the effect of threats should be minimized in order for the business to function smoothly.

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