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Discussion Starter #1
This is nice little concept I picked up in my business entrepreneurial class. For the legal portion, I don't have full working knowledge so you all may need to ask fumetsu questions regarding that. IMG_6854.jpg

Business SWOT AnalysisWhat 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 the ToolOriginated by Albert S. Humphrey in the 1960s, the tool 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.
Tip:Strengths and weaknesses are often internal to your organization, while opportunities and threats generally relate to external factors. For this reason, SWOT is sometimes called Internal-External Analysis and the SWOT Matrix is sometimes called an IE Matrix.

To help you to carry out your 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.
Also, if you're having any difficulty identifying strengths, 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 perspective: 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.
Tip:A useful approach when looking at opportunities is to look at your strengths and ask yourself whether these open up any opportunities. Alternatively, look at your weaknesses and ask yourself whether you could open up opportunities by eliminating them.

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?
Tip:When looking at opportunities and threats, PEST Analysis can help to ensure that you don't overlook external factors, such as new government regulations, or technological changes in your industry.

Further SWOT TipsIf you're using SWOT as a serious tool (rather than as a casual "warm up" for strategy formulation), make sure you're rigorous in the way you apply it:

  • Only accept precise, verifiable statements ("Cost advantage of $10/ton in sourcing raw material x", rather than "Good value for money").
  • Ruthlessly prune long lists of factors, and prioritize them, so that you spend your time thinking about the most significant factors.
  • Make sure that options generated are carried through to later stages in the strategy formation process.
  • Apply it at the right level – for example, you might need to apply the tool at a product or product-line level, rather than at the much vaguer whole company level.
  • Use it in conjunction with other strategy tools (for example, USP Analysis and Core Competence Analysis ) so that you get a comprehensive picture of the situation you're dealing with.
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Note:You could also consider using the TOWS Matrix . This is quite similar to SWOT in that it also focuses on the same four elements of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. But TOWS can be a helpful alternative because it emphasizes the external environment, while SWOT focuses on the internal environment.

ExampleA small start-up consultancy might draw up the following SWOT Analysis:
Strengths
  • We are able to respond very quickly as we have no red tape, and no need for higher management approval.
  • We are able to give really good customer care, as the current small amount of work means we have plenty of time to devote to customers.
  • Our lead consultant has a strong reputation in the market.
  • We can change direction quickly if we find that our marketing is not working.
  • We have low overheads, so we can offer good value to customers.
Weaknesses
  • Our company has little market presence or reputation.
  • We have a small staff, with a shallow skills base in many areas.
  • We are vulnerable to vital staff being sick or leaving.
  • Our cash flow will be unreliable in the early stages.
Opportunities
  • Our business sector is expanding, with many future opportunities for success.
  • Local government wants to encourage local businesses.
  • Our competitors may be slow to adopt new technologies.
Threats
  • Developments in technology may change this market beyond our ability to adapt.
  • A small change in the focus of a large competitor might wipe out any market position we achieve.
As a result of their analysis, the consultancy may decide to specialize in rapid response, good value services to local businesses and local government.
Marketing would be in selected local publications to get the greatest possible market presence for a set advertising budget, and the consultancy should keep up-to-date with changes in technology where possible.
InfographicClick on the image below to see SWOT Analysis represented in an infographic:

Key PointsSWOT Analysis is a simple but useful framework for analyzing your organization's strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats that you face. It helps you focus on your strengths, minimize threats, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you.
It can be used to "kick off" strategy formulation, or in a more sophisticated way as a serious strategy tool. You can also use it to get an understanding of your competitors, which can give you the insights you need to craft a coherent and successful competitive position.
When carrying out your analysis, be realistic and rigorous. Apply it at the right level, and supplement it with other option-generation tools where appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Gonna assume contracts and sole distributor agreements are the only viable options to neutralize threats. But yet again that would be determined by the type of business your running.
 

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How about the BCG matrix? In the case you’re using swot in terms of product development it’s great to use in conjunction with the BCG matrix.
 
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Thank you for posting the above. The collection and utilization of business intelligence is critical for any company to be successful long term. If you're okay with it, I'd like to contribute to this thread a framework for developing sales/revenue growth strategies. This has proved useful in my career thus far.
 
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Thank you for posting the above. The collection and utilization of business intelligence is critical for any company to be successful long term. If you're okay with it, I'd like to contribute to this thread a framework for developing sales/revenue growth strategies. This has proved useful in my career thus far.
Go for it, glad you all like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How about the BCG matrix? In the case you’re using swot in terms of product development it’s great to use in conjunction with the BCG matrix.
Never specifically read on that concept. Despite my school being ranked top 30 in the nation for business. @SkyRacerX you mind incorporating that into your thread idea?
 

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fff8476f9e2ff18ef2fae2228610852d.jpg

Best example of what the matrix is and the intuitive suggestions for what you should do with an entity once you've placed it within the matrix. Using this alongside SWOT can help make sure you're making sound and logical decisions, it seems simple and a lot of it is intuitive but mindfulness and awareness is always useful.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Epic phrase is epic ..LOL


ps:I really tried to stay away from this post but ........ too much my fault
Haha yeah, liberal arts colleges suck imo. To biased.
 

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Gonna assume contracts and sole distributor agreements are the only viable options to neutralize threats. But yet again that would be determined by the type of business your running.
Threats are almost certainly never neutralized in business unless your competition goes tits up or removes themselves from the game in some way. Another way is to buy out your competition (as my previous company did all the time) but you inherit your competitors problems as you do their sales. The most successful way to minimize external threat is to always be in the "know" of your competitors. Pay attention to what they are doing. Study them in every way possible and build action and/or contingency plans to deal with their movement(s) within the marketplace.

Here is the addition to this thread, adapted from a course on developing sales and revenue growth strategies. These are fairly broad strokes, however one can tailor the message to suit their business needs. And while there will always be the business management theories "du jour" and I think this captures the main framework required to build any kind of sales strategy.

 

1. Set your goal
a. Create a long-term plan of how you will resolve business issues and succeed on a path to market leadership.
b. Set a specific sales target for a current opportunity. This target must be measurable, objective, realistic yet challenging and relevant.
c. Develop relationships on the consultative side of the Great Divide.
2. Target Key Contacts
a. Determine each person’s individual needs, such as power, achievement, recognition, affiliation, order, or safety.
b. Determine each person’s perception of organizational needs, including finance, performance/productivity, or image.
c. Identify each person’s decision-making role: Advocate, owner, gatekeeper or ratifier.
d. Expand your contacts within the account
3. Review All Factors
a. Identify all the factors in play as positive or negative.
b. Determine whether you have high or low control over each positive and negative
c. Determine the twenty percent that are most important
d. Identify the customer’s buying criteria
e. Prepare a competitive profile that includes shared and exclusive benefits and drawbacks
4. Assemble your Strategy
a. Develop a microstrategy for handling each factor (capitalize, leverage, minimize or eliminate)
b. Develop a macrostrategy for moving the deal forward.
i. Move quickly to close (capitalize and leverage). Use your competitive advantage
ii. Rethink the situation (minimize and eliminate). Use creativity or try to delay.
iii. Take a risk (capitalize and minimize). There’s not much to lose.
iv. Dig in (leverage and eliminate). Work hard. The advantage can be yours
v. Proceed with caution (capitalize and eliminate). Be careful. Timing is key.
vi. Make the most of your skills (leverage and minimize). Handle all concerns.
c. Build support within your own organization.
5. Take Action
a. Identify the key commitments or milestones that will take you to the final result/sale.
b. Prepare a plan for handling setbacks.
c. Identify ways to build long term presence within the account and become a long-term ally, business consultant and strategic orchestrator.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@lordmercurio sensors we like coloring with crayons and eating them to. IMG_6928.jpg :laughing::wink:
 
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