SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis is basically the assessment of these factors and elements with the purpose of prioritizing and aiming for the ideal performance strategy and work balance.
Even simpler than that, a SWOT analysis allows you to gain awareness of your real performance and provides solutions that may improve your results in the future.
Being the leader of a company makes you the decision-maker. However, your team should also be involved in the development of your organization’s strategies.
Using the SWOT system, both you and your team will have plenty to talk about and organize together as a single unit.
Is It Complicated?
When you see the term “SWOT,” you wouldn’t associate it with something easy. In fact, performing a SWOT analysis doesn’t require anything else but a pen and paper.
You can use mind-mapping software, too, if you’d like, but that’s only one of the many ways to do it.
You can work alone or with your employees or team members. This strategy helps you improve the brainstorming process and the further strategies that follow once the ideas are marked.
First and foremost, you must decide the purpose of your SWOT analysis.
- Are you analyzing your company as a whole?
- Are you analyzing a specific department of your company?
- Are you analyzing a particular project?
- Are you analyzing yourself as the leader of the company? SWOT can be performed on a personal level, and it’s a great method of improving one’s self-awareness and level of consciousness.
Once you’ve established the main subject of your analysis, you can proceed with the following SWOT steps:
1. Identify Strengths
The first things you are going to identify are the strengths of your company or team of employees. Mark the things that make you better.
For example, your company could have the following strengths:
- Access to quality and affordable resources (clients, suppliers, etc.)
- Your marketing services are better than the average competitor.
- Your infrastructure allows you to develop something new every time you need to.
- Your employees are excelling at their jobs, maintaining high performance, and delivering satisfying results.
You shouldn’t stop here. Start brainstorming alone or together with your team and decide on strengths that you, as an organization, can count on the most.
By identifying your organization’s traits and qualities, you’ll be able to discover new opportunities which may be exploited to take your company to the next level.
2. Identify Weaknesses
The next step is to identify your weaknesses. Try to stay as objective as you can, and seek collective feedback.
- Identify the causes of your company’s complaints.
- Relying only on a very few customers (placing all your eggs in one basket).
- Improving your company’s poor social media presence.
- Improving the existing, probably ineffective UX design of your website.
Embrace your weaknesses as you embrace your strengths. You shouldn’t be afraid of being genuine. After all, there’s no point in avoiding the truth.
Note down all the weaknesses, and you’ll be able to dissect them and discover solutions for each.
3. Identify Opportunities
Once you’re done with the strengths and the weaknesses, it’s time to search for new opportunities.
Think of potential risks you could take that may result in significant positive changes for your team and company.
If you don’t have many ideas, take a look at your weaknesses. If you turn some weaknesses into strengths, would it boost your performance?
If the answer is yes, you have a new opportunity that’s worth getting into. Start researching your options, and break the big opportunity into smaller and actionable steps, which you’ll later resolve one by one.
Basically, find changes and create a strategy to implement them.
4. Identify Threats
The last section allows you to brainstorm the most critical threats that you or your team could face due to various reasons:
- The collapse of a certain financial market
- The exchange rates become unfavorable
- A new competitor is doing much more than you to position themselves properly in the niche
- The risk of not delivering your products/services in time due to X motives
Develop an Effective Strategy
Here’s what you need to understand. As Brian Jarryd, CEO at UK BestEssays, notes, “the SWOT analysis is not a business strategy, nor an actionable method of achieving results. It is a brilliant method of introspection that allows organizations and big corporations to manage their performance and direct their path toward success. “
Once you get all the information concerning your or your team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, begin prioritizing. Together with your employees, identify the opportunities that would suit your organization best.
Then decide on which of your weaknesses you’ll work on together as a team and find the proper solutions to minimize or even destroy those threats.
The way you develop your strategy depends entirely on you. Use all the information you’ve acquired by leveraging the SWOT methodology and create a master plan to grow and nurture your organization’s performance.
The SWOT analysis brings a lot of benefits to every company and team that performs it correctly. The awareness of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is an essential key to a company’s success.
SWOT gives you lots of decisions to make, most of them leading to positive effects.
How Can You Master SWOT Analysis?
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