what happened to your swot?


You're likely familiar with doing a SWOT analysis, you know - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. But do you know what's wrong with this tool? Well not the tool itself, but maybe with how you're using it.

The biggest thing that usually happens is that the tool gets forgotten after it's been used. Like any tool, it's no good to anyone if it's left on the shelf. So here are some tips to make sure that you're getting the most from all the hard work that went into your SWOT analysis.

Most important is the implementation of the strategies that result. We'll talk more about goal setting methodologies in another post but at some level there will be tasks that result. Some individual will need to complete these to address what's been identified in each area of the analysis. If you haven't identified actionable items while going through that exercise then you likely missed some important factors in each of the areas. Make sure your addressing each of the areas in some actionable fashion.

Make sure those responsible for the implementation of those tasks have been involved at some level with the SWOT analysis. At a minimum they should read it and understand each of the items that have been identified and how their responsibilities fit into the bigger picture.

Review your SWOT often and don't be afraid to change it - and break the rules. Is there a weakness that may be an opportunity? Think outside the box and put your engineering problem solving to the test. All SWOT analysis should be specific to a certain area of your business. So find ways to engineer a result that leverages improvement for that area.

Here's additional food for thought. Try doing a SWOT analysis on your biggest competitors. What can you identify from thinking about THEIR strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you can use to improve YOUR business?

Last but not least is don't stop your business and marketing strategies with just a SWOT analysis. There are lots of other frameworks for analyzing areas of your business to create improvements in your strategy.