Understanding what makes your business work and what hinders it is vital for its success. Most people know that the acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, but S.W.O.T analysis can be used as a tool in almost any area of your business. It is used to help decision makers look at their environment and make strategic decisions.
I like Karen Tiber Leland’s book The Brand Mapping Strategy. Her approach to S.W.O.T analysis takes a modern look at the impact of the S. W. O.T on the business’ brand. Though many companies have moved beyond S.W.O.T. analyses for general business planning, it is still a powerful resource for sales and marketing decision-making, which is invaluable when starting or expanding a company across oceans and borders…..and of course it is still an important part of a business plan for Trinidadian firms.
For my fellow marketers and entrepreneurs here are the REAL benefits of conducting a S.W.O.T. I guarantee it will help in increasing your sales and growing your business.
- Understanding Competitive Activity and what you can do as a counter action.
I try to keep track of what my competitors are doing so that I will always be in the know. Doing a competitor S.W.O.T analysis (i.e. looking at their pricing strategy, what products they are offering and how they do their marketing) will give you a picture of how you should position yourself against them. Keeping watch of what your competition is doing can expose their vulnerability and conversely help you avoid falling down when you come into contact with their strengths head on.
- Identifying Growth opportunities
As entrepreneurs, growth of our business requires seeking out new opportunities, which include wider product lines and distribution strategies, new and potential customers, and geographic expansion.
In S.W.O.T. analysis, the entrepreneur must identify emerging opportunities to take advantage of right this minute. He or She will use the S.W.O.T to assist in forecasting longer-term opportunities so advance planning can be made in order to be ready to enter the market when the time is right.
- Identifying the best ways to spend that marketing dollar
One of the most limiting things in business is finance; so where we spend our advertising money is usually under a microscope. We typically want the best return on investment. Evaluating the company’s strengths will determine how to allocate these limited resources in a manner that will result in the highest possible revenue growth and profitability.
- Developing and modifying marketing mix opportunities.
The best way to improve your product or service offering is to conduct a S.W.O.T analysis. Here’s how: So you are worried your customers are not purchasing because your prices are too high? If you do competitive research as identified above you can actually know where your price stacks up against that of your competitors. NOW, that does not always mean you will need to drop your prices but it may trigger that you need to start differentiating your product in your customers’ mind so that they see your product as superior compared to what is being offered on the market.
No matter the purpose, using a S.W.O.T. analysis can foster strategic and creative thinking. And, when used properly, the S.W.O.T. analysis not only helps you identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, but it also helps you determine the best strategies for addressing each of those factors.
If you want to learn more about developing a strong business plan or S.W.O.T analysis for your business, attend my ENTREPRENEURIAL WORKSHOP in February 2017.
For more information call 675-3389 or 495-3552 or email me at email@example.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debbie-Ann Jollie is a Marketing Strategist and the principal Director of HashSpace Limited. She is a certified trainer with over 15 years’ experience in marketing management both in public and private organizations as well as through consulting.