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محاضر في ادارة الأعمال- رئيس قسم التسجيل - عمادة القبول والتسجيل

Strategy Tools

Strategy Tools

Mapping Out Your Best Possible Direction

SWOT Analysis is a useful technique for understanding your Strengths and Weaknesses, and for identifying both the Opportunities open to you and the Threats you face.

Used in a business context, a SWOT Analysis helps you carve a sustainable niche in your market. Used in a personal context, it helps you develop your career in a way that takes best advantage of your talents, abilities and opportunities.

Business SWOT Analysis

What makes SWOT particularly powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you are well placed to exploit. And by understanding the weaknesses of your business, you can manage and eliminate threats that would otherwise catch you unawares.

More than this, by looking at yourself and your competitors using the SWOT framework, you can start to craft a strategy that helps you distinguish yourself from your competitors, so that you can compete successfully in your market.

How to Use SWOT Analysis

Originated by Albert S Humphrey in the 1960s, SWOT Analysis is as useful now as it was then. You can use it in two ways - as a simple icebreaker helping people get together to "kick off" strategy formulation, or in a more sophisticated way as a serious strategy tool.

o help you to carry out a SWOT Analysis, download and print off our free worksheet, and write down answers to the following questions.

Strengths:

  • What advantages does your organization have?
  • What do you do better than anyone else?
  • What unique or lowest-cost resources can you draw upon that others can't?
  • What do people in your market see as your strengths?
  • What factors mean that you "get the sale"?
  • What is your organization's Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

Consider your strengths from both an internal perspective, and from the point of view of your customers and people in your market.

You should also be realistic - it's far too easy to fall prey to "not invented here syndrome." Also, if you're having any difficulty with this, try writing down a list of your organization's characteristics. Some of these will hopefully be strengths!

When looking at your strengths, think about them in relation to your competitors. For example, if all of your competitors provide high quality products, then a high quality production process is not a strength in your organization's market, it's a necessity.

Weaknesses:

  • What could you improve?
  • What should you avoid?
  • What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?
  • What factors lose you sales?

Again, consider this from an internal and external basis: Do other people seem to perceive weaknesses that you don't see? Are your competitors doing any better than you?

It's best to be realistic now, and face any unpleasant truths as soon as possible.

Opportunities:

  • What good opportunities can you spot?
  • What interesting trends are you aware of?

Useful opportunities can come from such things as:

  • Changes in technology and markets on both a broad and narrow scale.
  • Changes in government policy related to your field.
  • Changes in social patterns, population profiles, lifestyle changes, and so on.
  • Local events.

Threats

  • What obstacles do you face?
  • What are your competitors doing?
  • Are quality standards or specifications for your job, products or services changing?
  • Is changing technology threatening your position?
  • Do you have bad debt or cash-flow problems?
  • Could any of your weaknesses seriously threaten your business?

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_05.htm

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