Get from Here to There

Quick Insight

SWOT analysis provides an analysis of your company and business environment from which to set and prioritize strategies. I explain four common strategies and when to use or revisit SWOT.

Last week I explained why SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Strengths) is important. This week I’ll show how it helps you set your company’s strategy.

SWOT is a brutally honest assessment of the realities of your business. It is not a strategic plan. However, it provides an analysis of your company and business environment from which to set and prioritize strategies. It provides a crucial early step in a complete strategic planning process.

Each of the four quadrants of SWOT lends itself to different types of strategy:

  • Strengths: Maintain and build on them
  • Weaknesses: Reduce or eliminate them
  • Opportunities: Capitalize on them
  • Threats: Monitor and mitigate them

SWOT is like looking at a map with a dot that says “you are here.” Your vision is the destination (your “there”). In strategic planning, you decide how you will take your company from “here” to “there.” 

Perform a SWOT analysis at the beginning of a strategic planning session. Then review it later when starting major initiatives. Your strategic plans may need to be changed because the assumptions made in an earlier SWOT analysis changed. A quick SWOT update can save you substantial time and money.

I wish you clear vision of where “there” is for you. I wish you the discipline and perseverance to get “there.” I wish you well.

- Rob Stephens

Further Insight

CFO Perspective Resources

  • Course: ACE - Strategic Planning for Small Businesses - Small business strategic planning should quickly lead you from defining where you are going to deciding how to get there. Getting there takes a well-built strategy and implementation plan. Get planning and management tools with the basics of how to use them.

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