We’re a month into 2020 already, and believe it or not the tone for your business has probably already been set. If you’ve set up your goals and have a clear path on how to achieve them, you’re probably not panicking. If you haven’t yet – don’t worry, there’s still time – but you’ll want to get on that strategic planning as soon as possible, and the SWOT analysis can help you through each phase.
In short, a SWOT analysis (SWOT = Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is a technique used to help business with their strategic planning (it can also be used on a smaller scale on individual projects to ensure success). A SWOT analysis can help guide decision making, which is why it’s helpful to do now, before we get too far into 2020. This is your opportunity to set smart goals for the rest of the year, and map out how they’ll get accomplished, so you can track your progress throughout the year.
When using the SWOT analysis for strategic planning purposes, keep in mind these definitions:
- Strengths: characteristics that give your business an advantage over others
- Weaknesses: characteristics that give your business a disadvantage
- Opportunities: elements in the environment that the business or project could use to its advantage
- Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business
Here is how and when to use the SWOT Analysis for thorough strategic planning in 2020:
Analysis of Current Business Situation
Before even beginning project planning or annual strategic planning, it’s important to know where your business currently sits, who your competitors are, and how your clients and employees feel.
- Competitive Analysis – See where your business sits both digitally and physically.
- Customer Insights – Assess current customer satisfaction & maintainable expectations with growth.
- Employee Assessment – Determine employee views on current and future development.
- SWOT Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats.
Future Planning and Goal Setting
Once you understand what your current business environment looks like, you can begin planning what your desired outcome will be. What does the future look like for your business? What are your values and how are they incorporated? What are your goals?
- Direction – Set the target on what goals you want to achieve.
- Values – What are the core values your business has in place?
- Long Term Goals – Determine your long-term goals as a business.
- Forecast – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats.
Strategy Development and Action Items
After setting your goals, it’s important to lay out exactly how you plan to achieve them. Without the steps to get there, most goals are never reached.
- Accountability – Set the target on who is required for each task.
- Strategies – Set the strategies required to achieve the objective.
- Budget – Determine how much financial input your objective requires.
- Time Allocation – Break down how much time is required for each task.
Finally, in order to be successful there must be accountability built into the strategy. How often will progress be reviewed? Is the SWOT analysis still accurate? Are planning meetings being conducted fairly?
- Review Process – Set quarterly or monthly review meetings.
- SWOT – Ensure SWOT analysis is up to date for each review.
- Chair Meeting – If required chair the meeting to ensure direction.
- Balanced Meeting – Create a level environment for all members to discuss objectives.
Have you completed your strategic planning for 2020? If you don’t quite have your ducks in a row but have a large project scheduled for this year, Media Mall can help. With more than 17 in-house business and marketing service providers and a dedicated project management team, no matter is on your radar for 2020, we can ensure it’s a success from start to finish.