No matter the size of an organization be it commercial, non-profit, corporation or a government entity, every leader, every businessman is at the mercy of an industry’s constant demand for competitiveness and the wish to satisfy and please current and potential stakeholders. To say that staying in business and maintaining your place in an industry is seen as survival of the fittest might be a tad dramatic, but one cannot deny the dedication and hard work it involves, as well as the agony of having to make decisions that you’re not always sure will work out for the best. Then again being a businessman means making choices and facing the outcomes of those choices-the good and the bad.
Lack of clear understanding over what your business’ current position is and what steps needs to be done so that you can step up is a sign of irresponsibility and neglect on your part as someone in charge to protect it, whether you are just trying to build it from a small business to something bigger, maintain its current standing among your competitor or ultimately reach that coveted place on top of the corporate game. Companies who are at the top of their game try to regularly analyze their standing and that’s what you should do too. A good place to start is by having a SWOT analysis template so that you can monitor your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, thereby making a competitive analysis template to cover these four areas properly.
SWOT analysis template word or strength, weaknesses, opportunities ad threats is a framework of analysis used for evaluation of a company’s competitive status or lack thereof. It is a business strategy or tool identifying four important aspects of business which are easily strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The goal of this analysis identifies what makes a company strong and what its weakest link is as well as its potential opportunities and threats from the outside. With the use of environmental data to assess where the organization stands, SWOT analysis determines which factors supports the company in answering its objectives and what challenges must be faced or lessened to get the anticipated positive results, which is the current position of the organization, and its possible future position, or the one it’s trying to reach with its stakeholder analysis template.
Executing a SWOT analysis needs preparation so before getting down to business, try doing a “pre-SWOT” homework first. First things first. Try taking a shot at a company profile. For this, you should simply describe what the organization or business is about and what type of market you have, who your main customers are and what you’re known for doing. If you’re not too pressed for time or if your company is growing and on the complicated side, you may have to make a profile of each section to show what they contribute to the business. It would also be better if you can outline strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats seen in your analysis example so you can prep your management team as needed.
It always makes a lot of difference when you start off with a clean slate and this still true in conducting your SWOT analysis. Map out your four quadrants and secure a list for the content you want to include in having those sections populated, but you have to let the team lead this off. If you have a business that s highly segmented, where departments takes hierarchy seriously and everyone wants to work on how best they can use their expertise, you will probably realize that our leads are more well-rounded as to identifying the strengths and weaknesses in their respective areas. In more serious situations, you may need to perform your SWOT by segment and then cover it up to fit the larger areas. However, most companies use a single SWOT chart to cover the current standing of the business.
You will feel like capturing everything available to capture from the team in your rush, and once the fast-paced way of getting inputs dwindle, you may want to go through the chart and remove entries or data that you found to be duplicated and overlapping while making sure that each entry is in their proper place or category. If you have decided on merging concepts or eliminating one of them outright, don’t forget to make your team understand and walk them through your reasoning behind for simple courtesy’s sake. After that, the whole group can still help in adding or eliminating entries within the framework or initial chart to arrive at a foundation that everybody had a hand on.
As a tried and proven method in business, SWOT analysis can also be used as an important exercise to help individuals especially when they’re looking for new job opportunities or seeking for growth in an organization like trying to climb the corporate ladder. A personal SWOT analysis, taking the same principles from the one that’s used as a business strategy can help you in achieving your goals. Personal growth is still growth and you can take advantage of an analysis sample to apply in assessing your strengths and weaknesses above all. It’s a creative method of personal assessment to help you evaluate where your career currently is and the possibilities it could lead you.
To perform a personal SWOT, get a paper or print personal situation analysis templates with four quadrants divided: one each for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities ad threats. Label them accordingly.
Fill in each area, by trying to anwser the questions below:
List down your strengths and don’t be modest in doing so.
For filling out the Weaknesses quadrant, let’s just keep it real and be honest:
You can use all of those questions and more if you also want to develop a new set of situation analysis templates.
Coming up with a viable and useful analysis to cover four important factors affecting an organization’s performance or lack thereof, is not something that just anybody can do, especially because it takes a straightforward model to break down your strengths, weaknesses, external opportunities and threats in order to create a good foundation of a tangible marketing strategy. Doing so would consider both what an organization can and can’t do, including any looming advantage or disadvantages related to what the company is selling, be it products, services or both.
These are the positive attributes within your company that’s also within your control. Strength is often beyond the resources, the positive aspects internal to your business and its competitive advantages. It’s beyond what’s within your business front lines and other aspects related to your organization that you are known to be doing well in, because strength should also be focusing on every angle that contributes value or provide your competitive advantage.
These factors are also within your control yet they trivialize your capability to get or maintain a good edge over your competitors such as limitations in expertise, training, technology or skills, lack of resources, substandard goods or service, or a location that’s less popular among customers. Weaknesses make up the negative internal factors to your company that detracts the overall potential and value your products and services can offer. This part can be highly useful in developing an organizational assessment if you focus on the necessary which is the accurate documentation of what your weaknesses are.
You also have some external factors to consider and it’s best to start here because this one is a representation of the motivation for your business to survive, conquer or compete in the marketplace and in an industry. This includes the opportunities that are currently existing within your market offering advantages like market growth, changes in lifestyle and answers to current challenges or the simple ability to provide a higher level of value related to that of what your competitors offer to encourage and promote an increased consumer demand for your products and services. One crucial element that you should never forget about this is timing, based on an analysis template word which may find useful. Timing is everything, especially when it comes to marketing.
This is composed of external factors, and big ones, that’s also beyond your organization’s control, and it has the potential to put whatever marketing strategy you have in place, in jeopardy. Or it can jeopardize the entire business itself. You primary and probably your biggest and most consistent threat is competition. Then again, there are also other threats which may include economic downturns, stricter laws and government regulations for business, negative press or publicity, failure to satisfy customers and trends you can’t seem to keep up with. Although these are external factors, and you have absolutely no control as how it would pan out, having a SWOT analysis also increases the chances of a contingency plan that would work and allow you to provide resolutions to these problems effectively, if ever they arise.
Within the four areas of your SWOT analysis, you will have already established certain values related to what your business can offer. The next step then, is to create a strategy based on what you have learned and what information you were able to collect. For example, you may already have determined the organization’s innate strengths so you can sue them as an advantage to follow opportunities that would match what your organization is about, effectively minimizing the vulnerabilities that you were able to expose, in relation to external threats. And by ultimately identifying your company’s strength and weaknesses and its relation to external threats, you would be able to develop a plan which will help you remove or minimize them and improve defensive strategies for your offerings, in the process.
Even if the coast is clear, you should never forget that those who perform SWOT analysis or job safety analysis templates may have biases over how best to conduct them, which means it’s better to get a third party consultant or an expert who isn’t working in the company so that you only get accurate and objective results that would help build an objective plan.
Those were just some of the most basic and simple ideas for ramping up your marketing strategies using SWOT analysis and free analysis templates but it’s quite obvious how it could really set focus and shed light on doing a marketing campaign. Naturally, you have to test your plan before coming up with the actual strategy.
Check how you are doing with sales and profit then ask yourself and your team if this type of approach in marketing would work well. Is there another approach which could work better? Probably not yet, if we’re looking at urgency or time constraints as well as some challenges in resources. But only by testing it would you and everybody else know for sure. But still, for any organization planing on stepping up their game, SWOT is a great and practical place to start. You might also want to check some project analysis templates to incorporate with your strategy.