We have Albert Humphrey to thank for the development of this simple but effective analytical tool to evaluate a strategic or business plan. The concept of identifying your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, still provide invaluable information for any business owner, regardless of the size of your business, industry or market.
A SWOT analysis is a simple way to discover positive and negative factors in any context. Specifically, it’s a 4-quadrant diagram that will force you to critically examine your circumstances and find out which obstacles must be overcome or minimised. A SWOT can also help determine steps that should be taken to achieve both short and long-term success.
SWOT diagrams tend to be straightforward, but the process of filling them out may not be so simple. To get the most out of your chart, follow these helpful tips:
Be Realistic & Truthful
To get the most from your SWOT analysis, you will need to be realistic about the current state of your business or problem. Being in denial about any businesses weaknesses or issues will not give you a true reflection of your business.
Analyse the Now
Remember that the SWOT analysis is meant to evaluate the present, not the past or the future. While the opportunities quadrant lets you think about possibilities, be sure to ground every detail in fact.
Keep It Simple
Maintain the same level of specificity throughout the diagram. SWOT charts should be straightforward, so resist the urge to add too much detail. More information might be better suited to a report or presentation.
Ask a Question
This type of diagram becomes more useful when you take what you’ve learned and apply it in the real world. It is vital to have a clear question in mind when performing a SWOT analysis. By making the inquiry more specific, you will unearth weaknesses in a plan, budget, project, or goal you might not have otherwise. SWOT can be useful at the beginning of a project, or when your business has hit a roadblock.
The SWOT Analysis is an invaluable tool that involves pen and paper and the time to sit down to look at the current position of your business. It is particularly useful if you are thinking about expanding into new markets, redesigning your marketing strategy, generating a new business idea or forming potential new partnerships.
If you would like some assistance with completing a SWOT analysis, then contact MentorUs today!