First things first, do you know what a SWOT analysis does? Let me explain. A SWOT analysis is where you’ll identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in your business. These are the four keys to your business success. The most common thing I find when I have clients complete the worksheet is the resistance that comes with it.
Here’s what I want you to do: AIM. TO. UNCOVER.
When I tell people to list out the strengths and opportunities, the list is typically pretty long. However, the weaknesses and threats are usually pretty light and sometimes those spaces/boxes are left empty. But here’s the truth, every time you uncover a weakness or a threat, celebrate it! Listing them out doesn’t mean you’re a bad leader or not doing a good job. It’s when you don’t know the weaknesses or threats in your business that you’re at real risk. Or you know them and choose not to address them, but at least then you know who’s responsible.
This next section is taken directly from my Visionary Leader’s Guide (page 6 – 7), but in case you don’t have it handy, here is the breakdown of the four quadrants in a SWOT analysis:
These are the internal strengths of your company. For example, maybe you’re the leader in your industry or perhaps you have a program or offer that consistently sells out. Perhaps your customer service is world class. List them all out.
These are the internal weaknesses of your company. For example, perhaps your company doesn’t have consistent pricing or your customer service could use some work. Think about the areas where you can do better and write them all out. Remember, aim to uncover as much as possible so you can see what’s what and where you have opportunities for improvement.
Now we switch gears a bit and look outside your business. This could be related to your industry, an industry that impacts your business, and events that are beyond your control that could impact your business. (Yes, even in a positive way.) For example, maybe a key competitor changes direction and that creates an opportunity for you to gain more clients/market share. Or something happens in the industry (i.e. an influencer endorses your business) and sales spike.
(Did you just sigh?) This is the fun part. Here’s why: Remember what I said about aiming to uncover? The more you know, the more control you’ll have over being proactive and minimizing threats and/or knowing how to respond, if you need to respond.
Consider the threats in your industry and beyond your control that could have an impact to your business. For example, a new competitor comes in who can threaten your business and/or market share. Or a crisis management issue that impacts your brand and reputation negatively. Or a worldwide pandemic. List them out.
Once you’ve completed the worksheet, celebrate that good work you just did! When you’re ready to revisit it with fresh eyes, here are some things you can do with it: Look for trends/patterns, leverage your strengths or opportunities and reduce risks.
Need more help? I’ve got you!Check out page 7 on my Visionary Leader’s Guide to answer more questions about how you can navigate the results of your SWOT analysis and other keys to your business success.
Having a hard time finding the time to analyze your business? Check out my tips on how to focus and get back on track by clicking here.