Re-Think Your SWOT Analysis
–OR–SWOT Your SWOT Analysis
Re-thinking the WHOs, WHENs and HOWs of doing a successful SWOT Analysis
Part of any successful analysis is to clear away any bias or pre-conceived notions you may have. The same is true when performing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis. Here are answers to three questions I frequently get asked:
When should a SWOT Analysis be done? It should be done periodically. I say “periodically” because I don’t think it should be a routine exercise, one done at the beginning of every year like setting resolutions. Nor should it necessarily be part of the budget process. Because a SWOT analysis is an invaluable tool to focus your priorities and strategies, you need to have one for the entire business and when taking on new initiatives. A SWOT may be about only one focus – relocation, new product line, succession planning. A SWOT can be done at any time and for many different reasons. But at a minimum, be sure to have a SWOT done on the entire business.
How should a SWOT be done? The SWOT process is basically a brainstorming session. It should be announced beforehand what is happening and participants should be gathering data and thinking about their contributions and where they should be included – a strength, a weakness, an opportunity or a threat. There are many ways to conduct a brainstorming session and I’ll be covering that in a later blog post.
The brainstorming session must be approached without a pre-determined end result. If you think you know the answers, then you will probably go through the exercise and guess what– your pre-determined answers are correct. If that’s your approach, go straight to “Weakness”, you have your first one.
Who should participate in a SWOT analysis? A SWOT should start with a brainstorming session among a select group of people who represent the different disciplines of the organization. Typically a group should consist of at least one person from:
- executive management,
- operations and
If you are a smaller company and don’t have people in those positions, you may rely on external sources to help give you a more diverse view of your SWOT. Consider including the following:
- The person providing CFO services (ME!),
- CPA, banker,
- Ad agency, marketing support,
- insurance broker (particularly workers compensation coverage) and
Don’t think they know enough about your company to participate? Then you have a large Opportunity. How can they properly advise you and your business if they don’t know enough about your business to help with a SWOT? So you have the opportunity to teach them about your company and get more value for your money!
Did you like this post? Here is recommended reading on this topic:
Need help with your SWOT and financial analysis?
Do your financials continue to elude you in spite of how much you pay for them?
I am fluent in ‘financialspeak’ and can translate your monthly numbers into strategies for future success. Contact me – I take companies to a higher level of success. Email : AndyAnderson@b2bcfo.com. Phone: 909-732-4917