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SWOT it!

For half a century, businesses have been using a simple tool called a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for four sections: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Typically these sections are broken into a four-quadrant box as shown here.

SWOT analysis – exercise instructions

  • List macro and micro factors, as well as internal and external factors that influence the mission of the organization (or focus on a specific program.)
  • List all items, whether they are in your control or not (e.g your marketing vs. your competitors marketing.)
  • For external analysis think PEST (as a starting point), which stands for political (and legal), economic, social, and technological analysis.

SWOT analysis – post exercise instructions

  • Look for possibilities of matching strengths and opportunities to make your business more successful.
  • Ask the question, “Will my weaknesses and threats gravitate together?” If so, consider minimizing exposure to these factors or dedicating resources to improve deficiencies.
  • Put this exercise to good use in your business plan, as it can impact your business strategies and goals.

Contact Byrnes Consulting, if you need help with your business planning, including SWOT analysis, to help your business become even more successful!

1 Comment

  • Jim Matorin April 14, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for sharing the above model. I like the concept of making weaknesses and threats gravitate together, an extension of what I call the converse rule, an example being how a strength can be a weakness or a weakness can be an opportunity, etc.

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