SWOT’s Done, Now What?
6 follow-up strategies to keep the dust of your SWOT Analysis and get actionable results
After all the congratulatory “jobs well-done” are said and the pats on the back are handed out for completing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis, be sure you put into motion your next steps. Unfortunately many companies put it on the shelf so they can look at it, show everyone they’ve done it and say “what a good boy am I!” It is a waste of time and good company capital to let your SWOT Analysis collect dust and not be an instrumental tool to drive business strategy. Remember why you did the SWOT Analysis in the first place:
- Strengths and Weaknesses – focused on internal factors.
- Strengths are anything you are good at.
- Weaknesses are vulnerabilities that we don’t want anyone outside the company to know about.
- Opportunities and Threats are usually external factors.
- Opportunities – ways to build your business and can present themselves in unusual ways.
- Threats – usually the opposite of Opportunities and can take away market share.
What do you do when you’ve completed a SWOT?
It is critical to take action on what you’ve uncovered in the SWOT Analysis. If you learn of new regulatory threats, what can your team do to prepare for future compliance? If government contracts are available for your products, how can you capitalize on this new opportunity? So the meeting isn’t over until you’ve done the following:
- Identify a few (more than one, less than 10) items for each category of SWOT
- Assign someone of your team to do a minimum of two things from the SWOT Analysis
- Formulate the plan to capitalize (strength/opportunity) or mitigate (weakness/threat)
- Spell out the KPI’s so you know you are making progress
- Set a date to meet and report on what you’ve done
- Periodically (daily, weekly, monthly – but monthly is the minimum) review the KPI’s and make corrections as needed.
So now you’ve completed a SWOT Analysis, you’ve involved your team and you have some objectives to work on which will make your company stronger, healthier and more competitive. Does it take time to see results – yes it does. But it is worth it.
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