How to Use a SWOT Analysis in Strategic Planning

SWOT analysis in strategic planningYou have completed your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. Check.

You have analyzed your SWOT analysis. Check.

Now, let’s talk about how to use your SWOT analysis in strategic planning.

How are 3 tips to put into practice to maximize your plan and grow your business

How Frequently Should You Evaluate?

Anytime you implement a new strategy it’s important to allow enough time for the strategy to build momentum and for you to evaluate the results.

If you change strategies too frequently, you don’t have an accurate indication of the results.

It’s like a company running a commercial once at midnight and changing the advertising campaign because it didn’t bring in the business they hoped.

Do a SWOT Analysis at the beginning of each quarter.

  • January – Beginning of the year “fresh start”
  • April – Spring “renewal” campaigns
  • July – Summer “fun” plans
  • September – End of year push

Working this schedule also allows you to plan for seasonal changes.

Performing a quarterly analysis will also allow you to understand exactly how your business is advancing.

How Many SWOT Items Should You Focus On?

Implementing new strategies involves a lot of time and effort.

You also have to manage your current customer base, keep up with the market, deal with any programs that are currently in progress, etc., so to set yourself up for success, focus on the top 1 or 2 in each SWOT category per quarter.

This might seem like a slow pace, however to see changes you need to devote ample time to planning, implementation, plan assessment.

What’s the Best Way to Work Your Plan?

Schedule it!

Make a step-by-step plan to achieve the changes you want.

Schedule these action steps in your calendar daily and/or weekly.

Complete your action steps.

It’s that simple.

The only way you’ll see growth in your business is if you execute your plan.

What Next?

Are you thinking this is a lot to do?

You can do it, a step at a time. :)

Need a little motivation? Leave a comment below and…

Here’s one of my favorite quotes for inspiration:

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” – Sun Tzu

Go seize.

You’ve already done your SWOT analysis and evaluated what needs to be done, so don’t let the effort go to waste.

Implement your plan.

Have you used a SWOT analysis in strategic planning?

Tell us about your experiences and what you learned below in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

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