How to Develop a Strategy For Success
Using a SWOT Analysis to assess your organisation's current position before you implement any new strategy will help you to find out what's working well, what’s not, and decide where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.
This article and video will help you to discover what a SWOT Analysis is, how to carry one out, and how to apply the benefits to your business.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your business.
A SWOT Analysis helps you reduce the chances of failure, helps to make the most of what you have, and can help you craft a strategy that distinguishes you from your competitors, so you can compete successfully in your market.
How to Perform a SWOT Analysis
First, draw up a SWOT Analysis matrix. This is a 2x2 grid, with one square for each of the four aspects of SWOT. The example below shows what it should look like.
What do you do well?
What could you improve?
What opportunities are open to you?
What threats could harm you?
Ask your whole team to complete a SWOT, then use brainstorming techniques to build a list of ideas about where your organisation currently stands.
To clarify which section an idea belongs to, it may be useful to think of Strengths and Weaknesses as internal factors – that is, to do with the organisation, its assets, processes, and people. Think of Opportunities and Threats as external factors, arising from your market, your competition, and the wider economy.
Let's look at each area in more detail and consider what questions you could ask as part of your analysis.
Once you’ve carried out the SWOT, review the various responses as a team – see if it highlights any themes or trends that might have been missed – are they helpful or do they need to be eliminated to ensure your success?
SWOTs are a significant investment in time and effort – so if you are going to undertake the exercise you must be prepared to give enough time to analyse the data you get back, come up with a plan and crucially give it enough time to succeed.
If you are unsure where to start, speak with your advisers – they will be familiar with SWOTs and how to implement them.
If the results of your SWOT show that changes are needed, your advisers can help you navigate those changes and ensure the success of your project or goals.
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Please note: This article is provided for information only and was correct as at time of writing (18/03/22). Any lists and details provided above are not exhaustive and are not intended to be full and complete guidance. No action should be taken without consulting detailed legislation or seeking independent professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this article can be accepted.