SWOT Execution — How To Make Your Business More Successful
Doing a SWOT execution is not only good for your planning, it’s actually good for your bottom line. Take a moment and consider this: Do you know what’s worked for you in the past? Are you interested in finding new opportunities and gaining a competitive advantage in your industry?
If you don’t know the answer to these questions, then engaging in a planning session using a SWOT—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats—is the right thing to do.
A SWOT analysis is an effective way to evaluate your business and determine whether there are opportunities for growth. You should use this type of analysis when you’re trying to decide whether to pursue a new venture or make changes to your current operations.But once you complete your SWOT, don’t just let it sit on your desk and gather dust. There are many ways you can make this work to increase the potential for success of your business.
Use a SWOT Analysis for Any Strategy
Interestingly enough, the SWOT was introduced in the 1960s and has stood the test of time for its usefulness in business. The simplicity of doing this exercise means that you don’t need to be an expert of any kind to outline the four, key SWOTareas.
You also don’t have to perform a SWOT analysis for your entire business. For example, if you’re considering a new marketing strategy, you can do a SWOT which focuses solely on marketing.
You can also do a SWOT assessment on a lot of different business elements — places, competitors, and even yourself! However, it’s also not a bad idea to do a general SWOT on your entire business from time-to-time to make sure you’re going in the right direction. It’s a great way to thoroughly assess where you are before you make the decision to move in any one direction.
See Your Strengths and Weaknesses in a New Way
An honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses is key to long-term, sustained growth for your business. After completing your SWOT, you may get a fresh perspective and new ideas as well. One of your goals with a SWOT execution is to challenge risky assumptions and uncover dangerous blindspots.
If you’re looking at your strengths, look at them with your competition in mind. For example: are there places where you have the competitive advantage? It’s best not to think of your strengths in a vacuum — aren’t helping you top the competition, is it really a strength? You’ll also want to identify what you’re currently doing better than the competition (that’s a superpower you will want to keep in mind for your next steps.)
Outlining your weaknesses may not be a fun activity, but it’s the only way you can reduce that weakness or turn it into an opportunity. Using opportunity mindset, you can discover new paths to follow that your competition may not have. Look at your competitors weaknesses and see how they stack up with your strengths.
While your strengths and weaknesses generally come from your internal workings, the opportunities you might see (and the threats to the business) come from an outside perspective. However, each of the categories can affect the others. So, a threat to your business might be overcome with an opportunity to find new markets based on your assessment of your strengths.
Find the Gaps in Your Marketing Foundation
Using a SWOT is one of a number of assessments you’ll use to find out where you currently sit.. It’s very hard to move forward successfully until you have some idea of where your business is today.
Creating a solid foundational marketing strategy is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. Designing and building a stable foundation for your sales and marketing ecosystem will create the base you need to tell the world who you are and why they need your products or services.
In fact, a business owner may find it difficult to define their message, even when they’re committed to growing their business. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the best path forward. They may know where they want to end up…but they may not know the best way to get there.
That’s where the SWOT evaluation process of the current business state of your business becomes so important to finding the road to marketing success .Once you are able to answer some basic questions, you and your marketing team (if you have one) can begin to collaboratively design a cohesive strategy that will ultimately eliminate barriers and provide opportunities for success.
Make a Plan
Once your SWOT is completed, don’t just forget about it.. This actionable tool will help you to accomplish your goals and see sustainable long-term success.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the SWOT analysis. The goal of this exercise is to develop a strong business strategy that builds your business and allows you to become more competitive.
In other words, a SWOT will simply be a waste of time….unless you take the information you get and use it to improve your business.You’ll need to take the time to work on any pitfalls you’ve discovered (or re-discovered) and you’ll need to take action on the opportunities you’ve uncovered.
Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Once you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses, you need to determine what KPIs will measure success. These key performance indicators (KPIs) should be measurable and quantifiable so you can track progress towards your goals.
Once you have identified your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you need to set goals. These goals should be measurable so that you can track progress towards them. You also need to define key performance indicators (KPIs) — these are the metrics that will tell you whether you’re achieving your goals. KPIs are often referred to as “metrics” because they measure how well you’re doing something.
KPIs are measurable indicators of success. They provide a clear picture of how well your company is doing. If you use them correctly, they can help you make better decisions and improve your performance.
Follow-Up and Feedback are Crucial
If you’re going to improve with your SWOT execution, you’ll need to measure your success against your KPIs. One of the best ways to do this is to get feedback in a variety of ways.
Depending on what your goals were in the beginning, you can consider:
- Surveys to focus groups or employees
- An old-fashioned chat with a customer or an employee
- Web analytics
- Open and click-through rates via email marketing campaigns.
- Social media comments/ reactions
Negative feedback isn’t usually a lot of fun to receive, but it can be some of the most valuable information you’ll come by. However, experts recommend getting out ahead of that negative feedback as quickly as possible.
And don’t forget to get the feedback of your internal team as well. After all, they’re the ones who will help you execute your plan and make it successful!
Engage Your Internal Team and Boost Morale
It’s no secret that people are more likely to support an effort that they’ve helped build and create. If you didn’t bring your internal team into the actual SWOT analysis, then now is the time to get their feedback. Make changes if you need to and truly listen to your team—They may have a perspective that you hadn’t considered.
But best of all, this action can improve morale which can, in turn, improve your business! Gallup notes that while an engaged team can improve your business productivity, only 35 percent of employees in the U.S. feel as if they’re on a team that has made an effort to keep them engaged.
Starting a conversation with your team and sharing the results may improve your internal engagement. Put a concerted effort into ensuring that your team (who, after all, will help you execute your plan) not only agrees with the data you’ve uncovered, butthe vision that you’ve laid out. This will help increase the likelihood of your overall success.
We’re Here to Help
By using the SWOT, you’ll soon pinpoint what works—and what doesn’t work—to improve your business. However, most of us need a little help at some point or another. We can offer you a free 10-question quiz to find out how solid your entire marketing foundation is. Information is power and we want you to power through.
After you complete the evaluation and have discovered any gaps in your systems or processes, it’s time to focus on using what you’ve learned to develop a cohesive sales and marketing onboarding strategy. But, you may still need a little more help after that, and that’s ok! We’d love for you to schedule a free 15-minute call with one of our experts.
At TomatoFish, our goal is to help get you further along the road of creating a successful business strategy that takes you places!
Tomato Fish Is An Indianapolis Consulting Company Focused On Helping Small And Midsize Businesses Make Good Strategic Planning Decisions.