A SWOT analysis is 1 of the most beautiful, elegant, and simple analyst tools you can use to grow and strengthen your business.
It’s easy to understand and it’s also very easy to implement.
SWOT Analysis Video Tutorial:
What Is A SWOT Analysis?
There are tons of management tools and different ways of thinking about strategy in your business.
But one of the nice things about a SWOT analysis is not only is it proven, but it’s easy to implement.
It’s just not that complicated.
You could do a SWOT analysis every quarter.
In itself, this can be a basic playbook for your growing business.
I did that for many years. It can absolutely work for you.
So what is a SWOT analysis?
SWOT is an acronym for:
For most businesses I recommend that you do a SWOT analysis every quarter.
You sit down with your leadership team and do the following…
1. Analyze Your Strengths
In this exercise, you want to write all of the answers down on a piece of paper.
- What are the strengths in your business?
- What are you doing better than your competitors?
- Where do you feel like you have a strategic advantage?
You want to make sure that you’re strengthening the strengths.
Protect your strengths and double down on them.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’ve been in business for 15 years.
And you have no complaints at all.
You have a pristine record when it comes to reviews out in the marketplace.
Well, that means your brand is trusted in the marketplace.
You can lean on this strength in your advertising.
It builds the level of trust with your prospects and clients.
Become The Best At What You Do
But it all starts with figuring out what you do better.
Your content marketing strategy could be driving a lot of new customers.
- How can you strengthen and protect that particular strength?
- How can you double or triple down on it?
This is where you want to put more time and energy.
If you come up with 50 strengths during you SWOT analysis, it’s not realistic to improve all of them right away.
What I have done is that I focus on strengthening 1 strength per quarter.
Over 16-20 quarters, the changes you see will add up significantly.
2. What Are Your Weaknesses?
The next area you want to focus on are your weaknesses.
You want to be honest with yourself here.
A lot of times we focus on keeping a positive entrepreneur mindset.
Because building a business is tough.
Don’t try to reframe these weaknesses as positives…
Instead, you just want to write down exactly what the problems are with your business.
The things you’re not doing well.
This objectivity will go a long way when you’re looking to improve your business.
How do you figure out what your weaknesses are?
- Do a competitor analysis
- Look at customer feedback
- What hires are you missing?
- Are you owner reliant?
This is why getting customer feedback is excellent…
Customers may say they really love your product, but they wish you did ________.
Well, that’s a weakness in your product delivery.
Write it down.
If your competitors offer free shipping and you don’t, that’s a weakness.
You’re not in enough marketing channels?
The box you deliver the product in isn’t strong enough? Damaged goods arrive at your customers’ doors.
It could be the fact that your website loads too slowly.
Just write everything down objectively.
Don’t let a long list of weaknesses depress you.
This can be especially true if you’re in a leadership position in your company.
Or you’re the business owner.
These things don’t all have to be addressed immediately.
Just like you did with the strengths…
Focus on resolving 1 major weakness per quarter.
In the upcoming years, that could be 16, 20, or even 30 major weaknesses resolved.
You’re essentially getting rid of the things that would cause your asset to fail.
Give your team a plan to address 1 weakness per quarter.
3. What Opportunities Achieve Massive Growth?
The next area we’re going to focus on in our SWOT analysis is: Opportunities.
This is my favorite area for 2 main reasons.
This is where I put all my home run plays. Not the little things.
I’m talking about things that can be major opportunities for growth.
For example, you can put down that you’re going to acquire a competitor in this particular area.
You’re going to build out a line of new products.
Because you found a big need that should be solved in the marketplace.
It could be the fact that you’re operating in a brand new marketing channel.
Write all these things down in your opportunities area.
It could be that you start an affiliate program.
Use A SWOT Analysis To Grow Massively
These are big growth levers.
- Opportunities to seize more of the marketplace
- Serve your customers better
- Increase your bottom line
The 2nd part of the opportunity that I love is this…
As entrepreneurs we’re creative thinkers.
We focus on the big picture and are visionaries.
If you’re constantly thinking about these things, you could burn out quickly.
This is especially true if you’re jumping around like crazy and acting on all these new ideas.
This is called entrepreneurial ADD or shiny object syndrome.
The SWOT Analysis allows you to act on the opportunities in a disciplined way.
It also gives you a more streamlined approach with your marketing team.
They are not being pulled in all new directions when a plan is changed on a whim.
Stay Focused With a SWOT Analysis
Always quantify your ideas and write them down.
Act on 1 of them per quarter.
If a genius idea for long-term growth comes to your mind in the middle of the night…
You could write this down and act on this idea next quarter.
To make sure you keep your business on track.
So it’s a great way to stay focused as well.
4. Identify Your Threats
So the T area of the SWOT analysis stands for threats.
This is a critical area you want to address every quarter.
You ever hear those statistics that 95% of businesses eventually fail?
All those business failures happen because something put them out of business.
There was a threat that was going on in the marketplace.
- They ignored this threat
- They did not address it
- Now they are out of business
This area is absolutely critical as you grow.
Don’t bury your head in the sand.
Just because you find threats, it does not mean your business is horribly flawed.
Optimize Your Business With A SWOT Analysis
It is simply an objective way of seeing what’s already there.
And giving you the power to address it.
The fear of going out of business is real.
What happens if a key hire quits?
The business tanks because they took all the intellectual property with them.
There are no website backups?
What would happen if your server goes down and your business isn’t backed up in terms of digital assets?
You could lose everything.
- Landing pages
- Customer lists
- 100+ SEO blog articles
- Video backups
Make sure your code is secured to prevent yourself from getting hacked.
Keep Your Business Strong & Secure
These are all threats in your business.
What if a competitor comes in and can pay more per click than you?
They’ll begin to scoop up your market share.
How many marketing channels are you operating in?
I know this can be a little scary to face at first.
But that is why it’s so important to focus on the threats during your SWOT analysis.
Write them down and work on 1 per quarter.
Work on them so your business can survive:
- Make an impact
- Make tons of money
- Serve customers
- Change people’s lives
- Keep your employees employed
You have to make sure you’re addressing your threats every quarter.
Put Your SWOT Analysis To Use
So there we have it with your SWOT Analysis:
The great thing about this is that it makes management and leadership easy.
It’ll also give your team a lot of direction.
They’ll feel like there is something really quantifiable and doable that’s put in front of them.
It won’t feel like a 10-year project with no end in sight.
This is 1 of the great time management strategies you can incorporate into your culture.
These clear 90-day sprints from your SWOT analysis are things your team members can get behind.
They can measure where they are in terms of their goals.
It’ll give them a guide to see if they are on track or off track.
You as a leader can give them feedback in a quantifiable way because the goal is simple and clear.
Because again, focus on 1 for each area per quarter.
If you have questions about SWOT analysis, marketing, management, or how to actually implement this stuff.
Make sure you leave a comment below.
I would love to hear where your mind’s at and how I can be of service to you to help you grow.
Also if you enjoy this type of content, we have tons of videos on our Strategy Samurai YouTube channel.
My name is Steve Nixon and thank you for visiting StrategySamurai.com.