SWOT as most would know, is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Doing a SWOT analysis for your business gives you a snapshot of where the business is now in terms of its ability to succeed and helps you develop a strategy for its future.
Strengths and Weaknesses are the internal factors of your business.
Generally, these are things you and your team have control over.
Things like your work environment, team capabilities, quality of products and so on may fall under one of these areas. You may find some issues are closely related, and may be both strengths and weaknesses.
Opportunities and Threats are the external factors affecting your business.
Generally, these are things you and your team have little or no control over.
These might be things like competition, customer preferences, industry trends, the economic environment or legislation.
Once you’ve created a list of all your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats—keeping in mind that some issues may fall under more than one area—rate each item on a scale of 1 to 10.
Focus on the highest rating issues first and brainstorm ideas for how to handle each one.
For instance, how can you maximise the advantage of your greatest strength?
How can you minimise the effects of your greatest weakness?
What can you do to maximise your greatest opportunity?
How will you protect yourself from your greatest threat?
Now you can create an action plan and assign tasks to bring these thoughts and ideas into fruition. But don’t rest on your laurels too long!
Make sure you conduct regular SWOTs to make sure you always know where you are, and that you’re on track for where you’re going.