Tag - SWOT

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Plan With An Eye To The Outside
How to SWOT!

Plan With An Eye To The Outside

When you wrote your last business plan, did you go on a “retreat”?

That’s what most people do – they clear out some time and take their team out of the workplace so they won’t be disturbed, and they spend a couple of days discussing what’s going on in the business and how to improve it and set goals and strategies.

But here’s what’s wrong with this approach – more often than not you discuss and find solutions for problems and opportunities from inside your business, and forget that it’s external stimuli that will have serious and unpredictable effects.

So you go along and implement your plan only to have, one day —– WHAM! A big problem from outside hits you where you weren’t expecting.

Watch this week as I discuss how to plan with an eye to external factors.



Let’s summarise – use PESTLE to analyse and think about the external factors that could have an impact on your plans:

P for Political, being any political changes in your region that could have an impact;

E for Economic, requiring you to look at the local, national and global economy;

S for Social, asking what social trends are happening right now that could affect your business;

T for Technological – what is happening in and outside your industry that is affected by tech changes, social media and so on;

L for Legal, looking for potential changes to the law that could impact your industry;

E for Environmental, including the environment as well as surrounding factors – can any development here affect you?

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How to SWOT!

I’ll bet you that you’ve heard of the term “SWOT”.

In the English-based education system that sometimes describes someone who works “too hard”! But no in this context I mean the management tool that people use to analyse a given situation or business issue.

“SWOT” stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and the idea is that you assess your business situation or issue by looking at what its strengths and weaknesses are, and what opportunities exist or threats that it faces.

Many people misuse this tool – they take a generic view of the situation and look widely at all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Often they even misunderstand the difference between strengths and weaknesses as opposed to opportunities and threats.

No, as a tool its use is to focus on key issues so that you can make clear decisions and not get swamped by too much information.

In this video I explain how you can use it to provide focus, and eventually identify strategies from the analysis.

There you are, how to use SWOT properly as a management analysis tool!

And remember, use the strengths, fix the weaknesses, exploit opportunities, monitor threats.

Now, the fun really starts when we “talk” about how you use or might use this tool. Click here to leave a comment under the video and tell me 2 ways you have used or will use SWOT!

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