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Strategic Planning – Step Two – SWOT

This entry is part 8 of 14 in the series Strategic Planning [1]

Where are you now?  Maybe a SWOT analysis would help get your thinking organized.I have used this method before and it can be helpful.  While I am not going to try and provide all of the methods of organizing your thoughts,I will provide some that I have used as we move forward.

Performing a SWOT Analysis on your present operations can be easy and it can help you think through the many areas where you may want to do some deeper thinking going forward.  I am not going to try and fully define what SWOT is or how it can be used.  A quick Google search will provide more that I could ever hope to write.  But I will  provide a brief explanation with the help of Wikipedia content.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Strengths are internal characteristics of the firm or team that give it an advantage over others.
Weaknesses are internal characteristics that place the firm at a disadvantage relative to others.
Opportunities are external chances to make greater advancements in the environment.
Threats are external elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the firm.

Analyze your environment and your processes according to the four SWOT categories.  Just write down the some ideas in each of the categories.  Below is a diagram that you might use to create your Analysis doc.  This is from a blog on SWOT in the UK that I found.

SWOT [15]

SWOT Analysis Example

There is no such thing as a business without weaknesses or a business without threats from outside sources.  So be honest about yourself and the firm.  This is in no way a complete effort.  This is just a beginning.

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