We can all agree that the COVID-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise. Its impact has especially been detrimental to our economy leaving many businesses at a disadvantage. But if there’s one thing that’s become apparent from this global crisis, is that we need to have better preparedness strategies put into place.
As we now settle into the ‘new normal’, it’s important to reflect on the things that could have been handled better, in the circumstances. Unfortunately, even the best laid plans may not be useful in a particular environment. However, the agility to adapt to changes, honestly identifying what is currently useful while ditching what is not, being creative, mapping out the next course of action is what can set your business apart, even in a pandemic. Become intentional about positioning your business for the current and future environment. There is now a different way of doing business, are you prepared? Will your business survive? What are the opportunities?
These are all big questions to answer, and you’ll need a powerful but simple solution to help you: a SWOT analysis.
What is a SWOT analysis?
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. As the name suggests, a SWOT analysis is an evaluation framework in which you examine these four aspects of your business. This process will involve identifying and assessing the various forces that can influence your business decisions.
The elements of a SWOT analysis
The SWOT analysis is made up of four quadrants, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It takes an inside-out approach, as its first two elements are regarded as internal factors (within the organisation) while the latter are regarded as external factors.
Internal factors are areas you can control and change. For example your current processes, human resources, physical resources and financial resources. On the other hand, external factors are aspects your business has no control over. Examples include, political, environmental and economic regulations, market trends, economic trends, demographics and so much more.
Strengths (Internal): These are the factors that give you a competitive advantage and contribute to your business’s success.
Weaknesses (Internal): These include issues under you control that require improvement and inhibit your business’s success.
Opportunities (External): These are outside forces that if utilised may lead to your business’s success.
Threats (External): These are also outside forces that could damage your company’s success and competitiveness.
A SWOT analysis matrix
A SWOT analysis matrix is a two by two grid with each square representing one of the four factors. You can download your own SWOT analysis matrix with leading questions that can help you determine your business’s possible strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats right below.
Why is a SWOT analysis necessary at this time?
A SWOT analysis will help you determine the next steps for your business. Evaluate how the pandemic has affected your business; what aspects have helped you stay afloat and what aspects have brought you down. Then use this evaluation to develop strategies that will ensure your business is well grounded in this ‘new normal’.