I hope you had an awesome dream week! We are rocking and rolling at our Dream Factory! We created life changing content and continue to gain new clients. The testimonials you share with us is so encouraging! Please keep them coming.
I thought I would share some of my business notes with our readers. This is how we consistently ensure our sales, clients, events, and ventures always reach our target goal. We believe in making an impact in every facet of life, business, and faith.
SWOT analysis sounds like some kind of scary team of business combat units—it’s not. Doing a SWOT analysis doesn’t involve addition or subtraction but it is very helpful.
SWOT stands for:
S – Strengths W – Weaknesses O – Opportunities T – Threats
It’s basically the ultimate to-do list. A SWOT analysis forces you to think about the future. Which is imperative, every business owner should consider the future. You know how your business is doing today, but do you know where it will be tomorrow? This process will help you figure it out and—more importantly—plan for it.
A SWOT analysis lists the good and bad things about your business both from an internal and external viewpoint.
Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors, while opportunities and threats are external factors. Internal factors come from within your business while external factors come from the larger environment surrounding your business.
Another difference between strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and threats is that the first mostly focuses on the present while the latter looks at the future. What is happening versus what could happen?
Strengths and weaknesses are under your control. It may be difficult, but you can change them over time. Examples include:
- company culture
- customer list
- intellectual property
Conversely, opportunities and threats are typically outside of your control. You can try and plan for them or influence a positive change, but at the end of the day, it’s not up to you. Examples include:
- market size
Who Should Use SWOT Analysis?
In short, everyone (both new and existing businesses) should use SWOT analysis.
If you’re just starting out or are still in the planning phases, a SWOT analysis will give you a competitive advantage. Doing it will inform your
break-even analysis and give a more realistic picture of what you’re getting in to. Both should be included in a business plan if you need to seek financing. We have to do the work for our dream to work!
Existing businesses should perform a SWOT analysis annually. Think of it as your annual State of the Business. Having it will allow you to keep your business running smoothly, anticipate problems, work on necessary changes or improvements, and help you make smarter decisions throughout the year. Basically—annual SWOT analysis will keep you from losing touch with your business, customers, and industry
How to Do a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis is far from scientific. There’s no objective way of measuring how well you do one. It relies on your ability to observe and recall internal and external factors that can impact your business. It’s not about making accurate predictions so much as it is about knowing what to plan for.
Gather the Right People
While important business decisions typically need to be made by founders and senior level employees, there’s no such thing as “too many cooks in the kitchen” with a SWOT analysis. Having more input, even from people who don’t fully understand your business, will only make it stronger. You may also find that you’ll get better buy-in on the strategy decisions that come out the analysis if you include your employees in the process. Heck, even your customers can provide valuable insight.
Host a Dream Team Brainstorming Session
Once you’ve assembled your team, host a brainstorming session with everyone involved. You can either list strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats together (better for small teams) or ask participants to create and submit lists individually (better for bigger teams). Include everything that comes up in each category. Don’t worry about how important each observation is at this stage—the idea is to not miss anything. Just write it all down.
Once you’ve exhausted everyone’s ideas and come up with four big lists, it’s time to start filling in gaps where additional explanation is needed. This is an opportunity for you and your team to ask questions that will determine how important each item on the list is. Ask everyone in the group to choose their top three items for each category. Most likely a pattern will emerge that will show you what to focus on.
Even if it’s only you working on the analysis—don’t worry! In this case, you are likely involved in all parts of the business and will have good insight into what you need to consider. Crack a bottle of wine or brew a pot of tea and dig in!
Questions to Guide You
Whether you’re working alone or with a diverse group, getting the brainstorming started can be tough. The following questions are here to get things going. I recommend reading through them no matter what to help you avoid missing important factors.
What to Do With Your SWOT Analysis?
As business owners, we constantly have to prioritize what gets our attention. Tough decisions about resource allocation are unavoidable. No matter how successful you become you’ll always have to pick and choose where to direct your attention. SWOT analysis helps you determine strategic areas to focus your energy and resources.
For each of the items on your final list, create a strategy to exploit the advantages and opportunities, and to deal with the weaknesses and threats. These initial strategies don’t need to be particularly complex or robust, although you may choose to expand on them later. For now, just create a broad plan of action.
Also, keep in mind that different factors can work together to balance each other out. How can you use your strengths to improve your weaknesses? How can you exploit opportunities to neutralize your threats? Can you leverage your strengths to better take advantage of opportunities? Is there a weakness you need to prioritize in order to prevent a threat?
If your interested in a more in depth SWOT Dream meeting! Email us, or call our dream hotline! We would love to connect with you.
I’m Excited about Your Future,