When was the last time you had a swot?

No, I’m not talking about swotting for an exam or killing a fly with a rolled-up newspaper, but when is the last time you took a look at your company’s SWOT? I mean really took a look, examined it and updated it. In these times of turmoil, knowing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats can highlight where gains can be made.

Your strengths may be flexibility, cash reserves, product range, market share.

Your weaknesses could be loans, investors wanting paying back, long product development cycle, needing qualified staff.

Opportunities include new markets – geographies, verticals; new product ranges or new services; legislation changes to ease doing business; obtaining referrals from customers to new prospects; technology developments.

Threats include low barriers to entry; lack of brand awareness; new tariffs; exchange rate fluctuations and who can forget in these days, pandemics.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal to your organisation. You should play to your strengths and take action to minimise the impact of your weaknesses.

Opportunities and threats are external to your organisation. You should grab the opportunities by pivoting (see last week’s blog) and showing flexibility as well as belief in you and your products / services. Threats need actions to minimise their impact, so if low barrier to entry is an issue, work on your USPs (unique selling propositions) for differentiation. Build up your brand awareness by targeted marketing to your demographic or decision makers.

SWOTs form a key component of any marketing strategy or business plan, but we tend to push them to one side and let the strategy document or plan collect dust on the shelf (whether actual or digital). Why do that? Your strengths and opportunities are there for you to maximise – so go on, do it!

If you need any help in reassessing your SWOT then please drop us a line, it is one of our services after all.

[Originally issued 1/10/20; edited 19/3/24]

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