Strategic Planning: How to do a SWOT analysis

As a consultant, it is my primary job to get people to think outside the box and force them to solve problems. My favorite way of doing that is with a SWOT analysis. Below I share a template for you to use in your next meeting and some examples of how to set goals in your business.

 

What is a S.W.O.T analysis?

S.W.O.T stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Conducting a SWOT analysis of your business or even yourself is actually a lot of fun. What I love about this exercise is how well it works in groups big and small. This simple exercise makes it super easy to get everyone on the same page and makes problem solving even easier.
The point of a SWOT analysis is to help you develop a strong strategy by making sure you’ve considered all of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats in the marketplace.

Internal Vs External

How to conduct a SWOT Analysis

Step 1: Assemble Your Team

I have found the best way to get the most objective results is to have people from different areas of the business, school, or organization meet to complete the SWOT analysis. By having a diverse group complete the exercise you are able to get the most objective results. A side effect of having a group build out the SWOT diagram is your ability to get buy-in when you build out your goals and strategies.

Step 2: Draw your chart

We have included the diagram below but you simply have to draw a 4 quadrant chart and label the areas Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Step 3: Ask Questions

I have put together a few questions to help you fill out each section of your SWOT analysis.

Developing Goals from your SWOT

Once you have identified and prioritized your SWOT results, you can use them to develop short-term and long-term goals for your business. Think to yourself how can you use your strengths to attack your weaknesses and turn your threats into opportunities.

 

Hopefully this will help you with your strategic planning in your business or your organization.

If you would like a PDF of this template click here: TemplateSWOTExcercise

TJ Houston

TJ Houston is the Director of Technology at Shelby City Schools and New London Local Schools for Epiphany Management. TJ leads professional development in all areas of technology and loves developing ways to make teachers, students, and staff's lives easier with the use of technology. TJ also loves photography and his portfolio can be found at http://www.tjshots.com. All of the views on this site are his own.