Do you SWOT? You sure do, even if you don’t realize it. Though you may not be SWOTing consciously, every one of us intuitively assesses our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats on a daily basis. And so, the next question becomes, do you consciously choose to perform a SWOT analysis of your business?
According to the information software company SmartDraw, “SWOT analysis using SWOT diagrams or matrices is a key part of any business planning or analysis.”
(For an example of a SWOT business analysis, see image.)
“SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors [while] opportunities and threats are external factors. A SWOT diagram analyzes a project or business venture by focusing on each of these factors. It typically consists of four boxes, one for each area, but the exact shape may vary depending on the design.”
It may seem obvious that doing this is a necessary part of running any business yet, most business owners take the process for granted. A SWOT analysis, however, adds structure and clarity to the process; it is a deliberate attempt to assess the efficacy of your business model with focused attention and purposeful intention.
In other words, instead of “winging it” and “hoping for the best”, a SWOT adds structure to your self-analysis, enabling you to make fully conscious choices about the direction and purpose of your business.
“SWOT diagrams can be especially useful when trying to decide whether or not to embark on a certain venture or strategy by visualizing the pros and cons. By clearly outlining all positives and negatives of a project, SWOT analysis makes it easier to decide whether or not to move forward.”
Successful Strategic Marketing Uses SWOT Analysis
A successful marketing strategy uses SWOT analyses even when you’re not fully aware that you’ve done it. For many successful entrepreneurs, this type of unconscious analysis takes place almost naturally. It seems inherent to who they are. For others, a more structured, systematic approach is needed to enhance their business-based goal setting and periodic reviews of what’s working for them.
While either approach has value, speaking generally, the more structured approach is better for most business owners. This approach also makes it easier to communicate your goals and vision to others, in terms that make sense to them. This will enable them to adapt to, and help you implement, your marketing strategy.
This type of structured analysis will be incredibly valuable to you, once you learn how to use it because you will be intimately familiar with your:
- Strengths – How and where does your business excel? What can you do to grow in these areas and how can you stay on the path to increased success?
- Weaknesses – How and where can you improve? Knowing exactly where your business is struggling will enable you to target those areas for improvement instead of “wishing” they would disappear. (Or that, by ignoring them, they will resolve themselves.)
- Opportunities – How and when can you take advantage of new chances to grow? How are market forces and demographics changing? Which of your competitors are weak, making them ripe for targeting?
- Threats – Who and what are disrupting your plans and interfering with reaching your goals? Are your products and/or services still in demand? If your business is growing, are you gaining an increasing share of a shrinking market (always a bad thing for the long-term health of a business)? Who is making the greatest impact on your sales and how?
Let Your Online Marketing Team Help You SWOT Your Business
Again, by understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your business or business model, you will be able to develop a realistic, effective marketing strategy. There will be no more “hoping” for success because you will know exactly what you need to do to succeed.
Of course, there is a learning curve involved and performing this type of analysis takes practice. Unfortunately, in the highly competitive marketplace all of us inhabit today, you may not have time to learn and practice a thorough analysis or develop a marketing strategy. That is where we can help!
The team at YOMT has more than a century of collective experience in strategic marketing. Our ability to analyze your business and determine all of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are unparalleled. From that analysis, we will help you set up the foundation for marketing success, along with a strategy for the growth and long-term health of your business.
If you’re ready to get started on a structured analysis and targeted marketing strategy right away, click here.
If you still have questions about how we can be your strategic marketing partner for 2021, click here to schedule a complimentary consultation and get your questions answered.