What is SWOT Analysis?
SWOT Analysis is a useful technique to help us understand our strengths and weaknesses, and for identifying any opportunities open to us and any threats we may face.
SWOT analysis can be used in a personal context to help us develop our career or in a business context to help us become more competitive in our market. In this blog we will explore how to use it in a business context.
This tool was designed by Albert S. Humphrey in the 1960s and and is still recognised as a viable management tool today. SWOT Stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
How to use a SWOT?
Let’s take a look at how you can improve your management strategy using this tool.
|What is your organisation’s unique selling point (USP)?
What does your organisation do better than anyone else?
Do you have any unique resources available to you that others don’t?
What do your customers see as your strengths?
|What areas do you need to improve?
What do your customers see as your weaknesses?
What are your most inefficient processes/resources?
What elements of your business cause you to lose sales?
|Are there any new business opportunities available to you?
Are there any interesting trends that you could tap into such as changes in technology, legislation, social patterns, lifestyle changes, etc.
|What is holding your organisation back?
Are your competitors doing anything that might create challenges for you?
Will any changes in technology, legislation, social patterns, lifestyle changes create problems for your organisation?
Does your organisation have any cash-flow problems?
Could any of these or any other weaknesses seriously threaten your organisation?
Points to note when using SWOT:
- Be thorough when using SWOT analysis as a serious strategic tool.
- Apply it at the right level – for example, it might not be relevant to apply the analysis to the whole organisation; rather there might be one area that is underperforming and needs consideration i.e. on a production line.
- Ensure you spend your time considering the most significant factors that will affect your organisation so be ruthless when it comes to trimming off!
- Quantify any statements i.e. we will save £50,000 a year by using the new supplier rather than they provide ‘value for money’.
- Ensure that you carry through any options generated to later stages in your planning process.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article and would like to find out more, why not join us on the Level 3 in Leadership and Management which covers this and many other related topics?
For more information contact Marie O’Donnell at Marie@professional-futures.com.
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