A SWOT analysis gives organisations a reasonably objective view of the state of play in their business, this can then be effectively used to build plans with.
In some organisations they pester their teams to ‘have a go’ at working on a SWOT analysis in all areas of the business with the vague hope of getting some useful information to help build a business plan from. Others ignore them all together while others jump in to the SWOT process with interest and energy knowing that often only a few things will have changed from the last time it was done.
I have heard that the first SWOT analysis is the hardest, but with a good outline this need not be the case. Obviously it would pay to have some experience in doing one in a paid role, to be able to do it effectively in your own business due simply to the practice of having done one or three..
To make a good starting point I have attached a template created for a business which uses external contractors, but feel free to alter it to suit your needs. The main thing is to get it to focus on all areas of your business and for you to take a participative approach with your whole team so they can all have some degree of input into it.
What’s that you want to know what to do next? 🙂
Let’s keep it simple:
- Print out the key points document
- Enlarge it on a photocopier
- Gather the team and a bunch of post it notes and pens
- Invite your team to respond to the main points they have understanding of, then any of the other points after that
- The information should be attached to the enlarged sheets
- Compile the reuslts, have the list typed up
- Print the list with the responses added
- Discuss and refine with the whole team – edit adjust if required and redistribute to all.
- Create a plan of action!