If you’re going to get involved in starting a new business or launching a new product or service, you really can’t avoid knowing what is SWOT analysis and its importance. SWOT analysis was first developed at Stanford University in the 1960s and is considered to be an essential tool that almost all companies use to carefully assess their internal Strengths and Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats they face.
Having used this simple but very effective analysis tool many times with numerous clients, I recommend it really for ANY situation which requires forward planning. These days you usually get one shot at it – do a SWOT, and greatly improve your chances of getting it right first time!
I know many clients who have expressed astonishment at being forced to seriously think about their internal Strengths and Weaknesses. It’s very strange, but most companies I’ve worked with are happy to list their weaknesses, but sometimes shy away from describing their own strengths. This could be fatal to your business planning process, as identifying your strengths raises the prospect of building on them to create breakthrough actions to grow revenue and profits.
For example, during a SWOT exercise with its senior management, a client identified its key strength as a ‘loyal customer base’. Further digging showed that whilst they did have many loyal customers, it was really their delivery personnel who were physically maintaining good client relationships over the years without any meaningful support from marketing at HQ. Following an urgent meeting with the delivery and marketing teams, the company integrated their customer communication strategy and, as a result, converted several ad-hoc customers to loyal regular ones!
Final thoughts: use SWOT analysis on every occasion which requires you to establish your current status to support effective future implementation, and don’t forget to focus and build on your Strengths!
If you would like professional assistance with SWOT analysis and results, talk to Nauzar on 0208 634 5200 or 0776 899 4681.