What is a SWOT and How Does it Help You?

Group of staff sitting around conference table

A common way to start a strategic discussion or create a strategic plan is to use a simple tool that has been in board rooms and small business owners offices for years. The SWOT analysis. Although pronounced swat, as in swat a fly, this tool has nothing to do with killing something. To the contrary, the SWOT analysis tool can provide new life to the businesses! SWOT kicks off strategic planning.

Although very simple (when done correctly) many a person has tried to create spreadsheets, rubrics and diagrams to explain SWOT, most of which turnout to be not much more than a distraction. A SWOT analysis is simply a group of leaders and influencers in a certain business brainstorming and taking notes on what the STENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITES and THREATS are for their business. Recently a second T has been added, for TRENDS, making it a SWOT&T. After some contemplation and discussion, a leadership team that develops a SWOT&T analysis has the foundation of a good business strategy.

With this foundation the leadership team now has purpose for creating SMART goals! With that comes the strategies and action plans needed to achieve those goals too. It was Coach Dick Bennett of Wisconsin that stated in the book, A Season with Dick Bennett by Eric Ferris, Coach Bennett, “a goal without a plan in nothing more than a dream”. Too many times business owners set goals that are nothing more than dreams. And while most would say dreams don’t come true, using the strategic planning process (starting with a SWOT&T analysis), Vesta can help to make your dreams come true – at least your dreams when it comes to business goals.

Vesta is a CPA based business advisory firm, located in Wisconsin, helping business owners make the right choice. We work with businesses large and small, from Sheboygan to Fond du Lac, to Plymouth and Minocqua and all areas in between! If you need help with a strategic plan call us.

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