What's more difficult starting a company or sustaining one?
I would say the latter. Starting a company, getting funds, resources, and ideas is very difficult. But sustaining those ideas, expanding market share, getting the upper hand over competitors, and surviving any and all economic conditions are much more difficult.
Many companies come and go. Some create an impact and stay in for the long run. Some fuzz out after some time. Many big and small companies come up with innovative products and services but they cannot see the long-term goal and get lost.
So how should one remain relevant? Remain competitive enough to surf through the high and low tides of the market?
The answer is strategy, strategy, and more strategy. Planning every move of the company strategically can help avoid several issues. This way companies can see problems from a mile and solve it.
On what is a strategy based?
Strategic planning needs to be done on data that is relevant, qualitative as well as quantitative. If the data is incorrect the decisions taken during planning will cause more harm than good.
Hence, the data needs to be correct and in line with ground realities. This data now needs to be deciphered, understood, and converted into meaningful information. Data is useless if not converted into information. This information will speak to you and help you in creating the SWOT.
SWOT means Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat analysis. From time to time every company needs to do this analysis to see its overall functioning and identify its growth or fall. Strategic decisions should be taken based on this assessment.
Nowadays many companies call it the SWOC analysis. T for Threat is replaced with C for challenge as it is a positive word.
So, let's break down SWOT letter by letter.
S- means strengths. Here you write down all the advantages, USP, looked upon features of your company.
W – means weaknesses. Mention all the weak points that your company has. Compare it with competitive brands, alternative products, and their features. An unbiased assessment should be done. If needed market research should be conducted.
O – means opportunities. Search all the opportunities for growth and improvement that the company can work on.
T – means threats. All competitive brands, cheap alternatives, duplicates, and new entrants fall in this category. The fall of the market and the perceived price of the products you deal in is also a threat. Consumer bargaining power, and supplier bargaining power play a huge role.
SWOT analysis gives an overview to the company on which areas it is doing great and where there is a scope for improvement. Advertising and marketing strategies can be based on this analysis.
A SWOT analysis examines both internal and external factors. It explains what is going on inside and outside your organization. Some of these factors will be within your control and some will not.
But once you are aware of everything that is happening you will be able to take steps to improve your company further.
How to write a SWOT analysis?
A SWOT matrix is a 2x2 grid, with one square for each of the four aspects of SWOT.
Before writing the SWOT ask yourself questions about the brand's performance that will initiate the ideas on it. For example – what do other competitors see in your brand? Why do consumers reorder from you?
Answer such questions and keep on building your SWOT.
Now you may think that writing a SWOT is very simple. That's not true. If you write it alone you will not think beyond your ideas. Your judgment can be clouded by bias. A group of people should write the SWOT so that all kinds of different views can be heard and impartial analysis can be performed.
Mistakes while doing a SWOT analysis
1. Writing lengthy notes- make your observations to the point. Don't beat around the bush.
2. Don't be vague
3. Seeing short-term goals- think broader and beyond your reality.
4. Not seeing weaknesses- the biggest brands have weak spots. Brushing it under the carpet will not help you in growing your company. So always keep your eyes wide open and see your weaknesses. Ask your customers because they are the best critique.
5. Be realistic
SWOT should be followed by other assessments also such as SOARS (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results), TOW, or PEST (Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, and Technological) to give a more detailed understanding.
Go make your SWOT analysis now!
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