Small business need to find ways on how they can survive the growing and advancing industry they are in. This means they need to find ways and analyze their business in order to take advantage of the things that it already have and work on improving what they lack.
A SWOT analysis works best tool that any small business needs in order to efficiently and successfully identify factors that they have control on or internal factors and factors that they don’t have any control on or external factors. Let us look further into what a SWOT analysis is and how it is conducted in a small business.
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How Often Should SWOT Analysis Be Performed?
A SWOT analysis is a tool that is used to identify and study the strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats of a business or organization. Strengths and weaknesses are considered internal factors that can be controlled, while opportunities and threats are external factors that cannot be controlled. By having knowledge and being aware of these factors, businesses can plan the things or activities that they need done to help make improvements to the business. The data gathered and analyzed in the process also serves as a basis for them too make important decisions for the business.
It is important for any business to have a SWOT analysis performed regularly. By regularly, how often should that be? Different businesses have different needs and that means regularly in this context varies depending on the needs of the business. It is advisable though that businesses conduct a SWOT analysis once every six months or twice a year. Other instances when a SWOT analysis should be done are the following:
- When the business needs to make big decisions regarding changes
- If there are external factors that will greatly affect the business, good or bad
- When they want to evaluate the current state of the business
- When the business is working on forming your marketing and operational plans
- If the business needs to make a key hiring decision
- If there is a need to evaluate the current conditions of the market
A SWOT analysis is a pretty convenient tool as it can be used in evaluating almost anything, whether it be business related or personal things. There are other articles about SWOT analysis that you may be interested in, like Business Plan SWOT Analysis Template, Advertising SWOT Analysis Templates, and Sample Employee SWOT Analysis Template.
How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis for Your Small Business
Businesses would most likely use a SWOT analysis as a marketing tool, although they also use it general business strategies and team discussions. If conducted thoroughly, a SWOT analysis can provide valuable information to the business that can be used on a lot of different situations. We have here some of the steps that will help you with properly conducting a SWOT analysis.
- The first thing that you would want to do when conducting a SWOT analysis is select the right individual to do it. This individual does not necessarily have to be in the top ranks of the company, but they must know a great deal about the business and the industry your are.
- Set specific goals and objectives for the SWOT analysis that must be conducted, as well the results that you want to achieve out of it.
- Then conduct a brainstorming session with this individual so that you can both identify the problems or issues that your business is currently facing that may potential help or harm it, which includes the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats to the business. Include the ideas or opinions of other employees. This way you can have an insight on other things that you did not realize can make a difference.
- Once you have all the ideas gathered from brainstorming, you will need to have to consolidated those ideas. This step includes consolidating duplicate ideas and ideas that overlap. Keep your focus in this stop to avoid over-consolidating ideas into one subject.
- Now that the ideas have been consolidated, the next step is to clarify the ideas that are questionable or may seem questionable. This is to avoid confusion and provide meaning to each item. No problem solving activity should be done in this part of the process.
- After all the ideas have been clarified, you can now move on to identifying the specific strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats. To do this you will need to choose the top three on the list of each element and have them summarized in a single flop chart or using a SWOT analysis matrix.
- Your completed SWOT analysis matrix will show what there is for you to work on so that you can plan and solve the problem that needed solving.
Following the steps provided above allows you to follow a process that will efficiently get you good and desirable results. Other related articles that will be useful to you are Student SWOT Analysis Template, Customer Service SWOT Analysis Template, and Competitor SWOT Analysis Samples & Templates.
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Advantages of SWOT Analysis Templates
What are templates? Templates are documents that provide an outline of a plan, strategy or analysis that can be used as one’s own by providing specific and necessary information to complete the document. A SWOT analysis template is a very useful tool because it offers a lot of advantages and we have made a lit of them below.
- SWOT analysis templates offers an easy and convenient way to conduct a SWOT analysis as well as create a SWOT analysis report.
- Most templates provide a list of relevant guide questions that can help in the process of gathering data and identifying the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats surrounding a business.
- With the use of a template, you no longer need to create a new document every time you need one. You can save the template on your computer or have it printed and use it whenever you need to.
- A lot of different templates for different purposes have been made available online so that it will be easier to get hold of one.
- SWOT analysis templates are also available in different varieties to make sure that everyone can find the template that best fits their needs.
- Templates are also user friendly. You can edit any template that you need to make it relevant to what you are going to use it for and have it printed as many times as you want.
- Using a SWOT analysis template allows you to save a lot of time and brainpower so that you can use them on more important things.
There is indeed so much to learn and so much to know about a SWOT analysis. We have a selection of SWOT analysis templates on our website that may be of use to you. To name a few are Manager SWOT Analysis Samples & Templates, Business SWOT Analysis Samples & Templates, and Marketing SWOT Analysis Samples & Templates.
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