A Useful Strategy Tool – SWOT Analysis
By Karen Enriquez-Wagner for our 15 Ways to Build Your B2B Brand in 2015 blog series
During strategic planning, a tool you don’t want to forget about is a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. It’s a great way to identify and establish a sustainable niche in the marketplace for your company, product or service.
The SWOT is intended for you to take an internal and external review of your company to make you aware of direct and indirect factors that can impact your organization. For example, the Strengths and Weaknesses should be based on what’s internal to your company, product or service; Opportunities and Threats are the external factors.
Depending on the dynamics of your group, SWOTs can be done collectively as a team during your strategic planning session, or can be completed individually prior to your meeting. With the latter, the results can then be combined and reviewed during the planning session for a final consensus.
Once the SWOT is created, it becomes a useful strategy tool. Take a look at the Strengths; are there any areas that you can tout or utilize to your advantage to grow your company? Weaknesses are just as important. What areas can you improve or are critical that need addressing? What Opportunities are present that require extra attention? Are there Threats that the company needs to be aware of now and in the future that may affect the business? As you’re developing strategies, always keep in mind how you can advance your company and truly separate yourself from the competition.
Haven’t done a SWOT, or maybe it’s been awhile? Here are some questions to get you started: