One of my favorite business tools is the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. After completing your SWOT analysis, you should be able to set goals and make plans that let you capitalize on on your opportunities and minimizing any potential threats, all while keeping your business strengths and weaknesses in mind.
So how do you actually do the SWOT analysis? Easy. Just get out a piece of paper or your journal and draw four columns. Label them S-W-O-T and start brainstorming. Consider internal factors, i.e., those within your control, and external factors, i.e., those outside your control. Look at competitive factors, environmental factors, technological factors, economic factors, sociological factors and political factors as they affect your SWOT.
When is a SWOT analsyis helpful? I like doing one each year when I review my goals. It’s also a helpful tool whenever you are considering a new product or big change to your business.
Do use use a SWOT analysis now? If not, what is your favorite business planning tool? Please share your thoughts below.