The Now-What of SWOT: Turning Analysis Into Action

on November 2 | in Business | by | with No Comments

Okay, so you’ve conducted a SWOT analysis for your business, with a detailed list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, laid in front of you.

The next question is: What to do with it?

The Now-What of SWOT?

Analysis alone won’t help your business; you need to convert the findings of the analysis into action-driven strategies. After all that is why you conducted a SWOT analysis in first place!

So, how do your turn your analysis into action—into a well-rounded strategy for your business?

This is what I’ll be explaining in this post.

Creating an Actionable Strategy

The first thing that you need to do is combine information from two quadrants of the SWOT matrix in the following manner:

  • Strengths-Opportunities
  • Strengths-Threats
  • Weaknesses-Opportunities
  • Weaknesses-Threats

What each of these combined sets of information would convey?

Strengths-Opportunities

This combined set will enable you to come up with a strategy that allows you to use your strengths to make most of the available opportunities.

So, let’s say, you run a small sized brewery. Your customers are the working-class people. One of your biggest strengths is that you are able to sell traditionally-brewed craft beer at rates that your competitors cannot match.  You have listed this strength in your SWOT matrix.

One day, you learn that the government is planning to launch a subsidized beer export project, geared towards targeting the working-class market in one of your neighboring countries. This is an opportunity to grow your business and you have listed it as such in your SWOT matrix.

In this case, your strength makes you an ideal candidate for qualifying as a successful bidder for the project.

You can strategize for growth

Strengths-Threats

Through the information available by combining your Strengths quadrant with your Threats quadrant, you can use your strengths to minimize the threats posed to your business.

You run a family owned farm. You have a formal training and education in plant biology, with your father—the co-owner—having years of horticulture experience. You’ve listed these down as your strengths.

However, since you run a farm, there is always the danger of pests ruining your crop yield. So, you have included in the “Threats” quadrant of your matrix.

In this case, your father’s experience and your own knowledge can help you successfully tackle the threat of pests.

You can strategize for risk mitigation

Weaknesses-Opportunities

The information available, by combining the two quadrants, lets you improve your weaknesses by taking advantage of opportunities at hand.

For this, we will go back to our brewery-business example. You want to grow your business—be an internationally recognized brand. But you lack the capital for it. This is your weakness that is limiting your growth.

However, the opportunity on offer—the subsidized government project—allows you to overcome your weakness and grow your business without worrying about the funds.

You can strategize for expansion

Weaknesses-Threats

Through the information available by combining the two quadrants, you can work on your weaknesses that can help you eliminate the threats posed to your business.

Once again, we refer to an example of old—the farm. However, this time let’s say that you don’t have formal training or education. The threat is same and that is pest infestation of your crops.

If you can get formal training you can eliminate the threat and make sure your business remains sustainable.

You can strategize for long-term business sustainability

And this is how, you can use SWOT analysis to create actionable strategies for your business.

Looking for more such business management and strategy formation tips?

My blog resources can help you. I have experience of more than 25 years in business consultancy and development, having worked with some of the top business organizations around the world. Whatever I have learnt, I try to word into informational blogs for entrepreneurs and business professionals like you.

Read, learn, enjoy and share the knowledge!

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