SWOT Analysis is strategic planning method and effective tool to help you understand your Strengths and Weaknesses, and identify the Opportunities and Threats facing your business. The analysis was created by Albert Humphrey during a research project at Stanford University using data from Fortune 500 companies. Using SWOT you are looking at the internal and external factors of your business. Internal factors would be your strengths and weakness while the external factors are the opportunities and threats. Taking a look at these factors can help you apply your resources and capabilities to your market.
The reason SWOT is so powerful is that in a few hours you can discover opportunities within your business to expand or develop. Exploring your business weaknesses will allow you to change or eliminate a negative pattern or element of your business you may be unaware of. As you look at your businesses as well as your competitors using SWOT you will begin to see what sets you apart from your competition and then focusing on these discoveries can give you the competitive edge you are looking for.
SWOT Analysis can be completed by you, with a consultant or coach, with your management team, or with a group of business owners in your network. The value of bringing others into the discussion is the discovery of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you may not see on your own. This should make your analysis more complete and powerful.
The benefit of participating in a SWOT Analysis for small and large business as well as solopreneurs and individuals are dramatic. Starting next week I will be discussing each element of the SWOT Analysis with a group of small business owners and will share with you what we discover. The goal is to give you real life examples of how to use SWOT and how it can make a difference in your business.
So you might be asking yourself how does SWOT relate to followup? Followup will show up as a strength or a weakness for you and your business. If it’s identified as a strength you might look for ways to improve on what you are already doing. If followup is identified as a weakness then focusing on followup systems for your business will give you a huge advantage in your market.