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How SWOT Analysis Can Help Your Business Grow a Lot

How SWOT Analysis Can Help Your Business Grow a Lot

There are so many options when it comes to assessing the performance of your business that it can be hard to know which to choose. SWOT analysis is a popular tool that helps you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation, and identify the threats and opportunities that could affect your future. [1]

    Read on to find out how a SWOT analysis could help your business grow.

    Why SWOT analysis is so powerful

    SWOT analysis is so helpful as it combines both internal and external factors to paint a completely clear picture of where your business currently stands, and where it’s likely to be in the future.

      Other techniques might be great at helping you assess your own organisation, but could ignore serious threats from competitors. An analysis that’s too insular could also miss key opportunities for growth and development outside the business.

      On the other hand, focusing solely on external factors means you’re reliant upon the actions of others, which takes control out of your hands and limits opportunities for internal improvement.

      Carrying out a SWOT analysis ensures you get the right balance of internal and external factors.

      When should I use a SWOT analysis

      A SWOT analysis can be helpful in many areas of your business, and we’ve listed some suggestions below:

      • When setting new business objectives

      • To analyse existing strategies

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      • When planning projects

      • When monitoring project/strategy success

      • When planning your marketing strategy

      There are no strict rules about where and when to use a SWOT analysis. As a general rule, they’re useful anytime you’d like to assess your current strengths and weaknesses and look for opportunities for growth.

      How to do a SWOT analysis

      Wondering exactly what a SWOT analysis looks like? Here are some key questions you should ask for each section.

      Strengths

      • What’s your unique selling point?

      • What do you do better than any of your competitors?

      • Which aspects of your organisation are particularly strong?

      • Which factors make customers choose you over similar businesses?

      • Which product or service makes you stand out from the crowd?

      Weaknesses

      • Where is there room for improvement within your business?

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      • Which factors cause you to miss out on sales?

      • Which area of your business has consistently encountered problems?

      • What about your business are customers likely to perceive as weakness?

      Opportunities

      • Are there any current trends you could take advantage of?

      • What changes in your market could provide opportunities for growth?

      • How can you take advantage of changes in policy?

      • Are there any local events you could become involved with?

      Threats

      • What are your competitors doing? Is this a threat to your business?

      • Could changes in your market negatively affect your business?

      • Do you have any quality issues?

      • Do you have any issues with cash-flow or debt?

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      • How seriously could these threats affect your business?

      Still not exactly sure what your SWOT analysis should look like? Check out the full examples below for inspiration.

      Example SWOT analysis 1

      You run a fast food shop that’s been experiencing a drop in sales, and conduct a SWOT analysis to find out why. Here are the results.

      Strengths

      • Cheaper food than any nearby shop.

      Weaknesses

      • High staff turnover – many staff are not fully qualified.

      • Scored very poorly on several recent health inspections.

      • Food quality much lower than nearby shops.

      Opportunities

      • New nightclubs are opening in the surrounding area, which will increase the number of customers late at night.

      • A local competition for best fast food shop is taking place soon.

      Threats

      • The increase in online review sites means that people can read negative reviews of the shop when deciding whether or not to visit.

      • A new chain fast food shop is opening down the street.

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      In this analysis, we can see that the weaknesses of the fast food shop outweigh the strengths – this is a key warning sign. Looking for ways to remedy the current weaknesses, and taking advantage of the listed opportunities should help this business to grow.

      Example SWOT analysis 2

      You run a small toy shop on a busy high street. You’d like to increase the growth of your business and decide to carry out a SWOT analysis. Check out the results below.

      Strengths

      • More unique toys than nearby shops.

      • Very friendly and personalized service, excellent staff.

      Weaknesses

      • More expensive toys than competitors.

      • Brand not as well established as big chain toy shops.

      Opportunities

      • Local children’s hospital is holding a big event to encourage toy donations. Sponsoring the event and donating toys could improve the company’s brand image and lead to positive publicity in local media.

      • A certain brand of toy is trending on social media. Focusing marketing efforts on this toy will encourage customers to visit.

      Threats

      • A large chain toy store is opening across the street and could threaten sales.

      • Video games are becoming more popular than traditional toys.

      In this analysis, we can see that the business has some key strengths and opportunities that can be of use when deciding how to deal with threats. Focusing on providing great service and building a good local image could help our small, independent toy shop deal with the threat of chain toy shop opening across the street.

      If you want to get a clearer idea of how your business can grow and improve, carrying out a detailed SWOT analysis is a great place to start.

      Reference

      [1] Mind Tools: SWOT Analysis

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

      How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

      Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

      If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

      Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

      In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

      1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

      We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

      SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

      Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

      Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

      Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

      How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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      2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

      It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

      To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

      Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

      You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

      3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

      Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

      Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

      Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

      Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

      4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

      If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

      The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

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      You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

      If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

      5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

      This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

      When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

      When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

      Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

      If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

      6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

      You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

      You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

      Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

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      We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

      7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

      There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

      When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

      This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

      8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

      Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

      Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

      Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

      In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

      How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

      9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

      Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

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      When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

      It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

      10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

      Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

      Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

      Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

      Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

      The Bottom Line

      Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

      It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.

      More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

      Reference

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