You have completed your SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Check.
Next task, how to analyze a SWOT analysis to help you plan for growth?
Here’s how you go about analyzing your data and formulating a strategic plan…
Identify Your Business Goals
You need to have a clear idea of what your business is trying to achieve.
Yes, I know to make money, but how are you going about it?
Look at your goals in two groups:
- Short-term, 6-months to 1 year
- Long-term, 1 to 5 years
The plan you decide on as a result of the SWOT analysis must support the goals you set for your business.
What Does Your SWOT Analysis Tell You?
Your analysis will address:
- Factors that need to be maintained or leveraged.
- Situations that need to remedied or stopped.
- Circumstances that can be optimized or prioritized.
- Conditions that must be countered or minimized.
So, how do you decide on a strategy?
Ask yourself these questions (and write down you answers):
- Which items are most significant in each SWOT area? (you’ll focus on these first)
- What actions are you going to take to take advantage and build on your Strengths and Opportunities?
- What changes in your business need to occur to deal with the top Weakness and Threats?
Success with your plan increases, if you are specific with your plan of action.
Tips for Successful Implementation
Changes normally do not occur overnight.
Applying these tips will help your plan be even more successful:
- Assign dates of completion for each task.
- Once a month compare the progress of your plan.
- If new factors come up that impact you plan, revise as necessary.
Taking this time to analyze your business puts you in a great position to keep your business moving forward and gaining momentum.
Once you’ve taken the time to do your analysis and come up with a strategy to implement the necessary changes your business needs, put your documents into a binder.
Keep these items easy to find, not stuck at the bottom of a pile of paper on your desk.
The easier you can access this information, the more likely you are to regularly monitor your strategy.