Has SWOT Got You All Twisted Up in a Knot?

Article excerpt

Byline: JACKIE PARKINSON, business development manager

DOING a SWOT analysis is a bit of a business buzz-phrase, but just what is a SWOT analysis and is it really worth doing one?

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

A SWOT analysis is a simple yet highly effective way of conducting an analysis on a business, product or service and forms an excellent foundation for a business plan.

So, yes, it is well worth doing, and it may only take about an hour of your time.

Successful business builder and guest speaker at the next ETC Business Club Breakfast, Paul McCarthy, has some excellent tips for developing a SWOT Analysis.

It may only take an hour or so to do, but it needs to be a quality hour - with no interruptions, time to reflect on all aspects of your business operations, and a mind free of clutter ready to brainstorm with a free flow of ideas.

The first step in preparing a SWOT analysis is to consider your strengths:

* What do you do really well?

* What is working well?

* How are you superior to your competitors, why are your products or services so good, and what is it that makes your business unique?

* Can you consolidate any of these strengths and turn them into an even bigger advantage for your business?

Next, you need to understand your weaknesses so you can address or improve them.

Identify anything that could do with a shake-up, for example:

* Time management;

* Marketing strategies;

* Certain products or services;

* Cleaning up the work environment; and

* Follow-up procedures. …

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