What is SWOT and how can you apply it to life?

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Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The acronym “S.W.O.T’ is referred as a business strategy, by ensuring that you (as a manager, for instance) have considered all possible outcomes for your work.

The awesome part in this technique is that it forces you to have an overall vision of the market, enlightening the bigger picture  and forcing you too see all the good, the bad and the ugly things about your work. You may be thinking “Why this technique is so important?” Great question and easy to answer. When it comes to productivity levels, we all feel stuck once in a while, sometimes not even the best of the brainstorms are quite useful, and do you know why? Because without a solid foundation of the basic ideas and assets of your company, how will you know when the real progress is being made? How will you forecast the bumps on the path you chose to follow? SWOT it all the way and I’m sure this technique will clarify everything.

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Now, two of this variables are endogenous, let’s talk about them for a bit.

Strengths and Weaknesses

This section of the analysis is made for an inner-prospect purpose. Asking yourself the right questions will not direct you to an specific answer, but will make you strive to understand what has to made to achieve success. Exemplifying:

  • How convenient is your organization?
  • Why would someone choose your company instead of your competitor?
  • How the prices of your products are taken by the consumers?
  • How are your marketing skills? Are they effective?
  • How can you make your company better? How much it will cost you?
  • How’s your access to financial loans?
  • What type of inconvenience can you avoid? How?
  • What the competitors have that you don’t have?

These are just a few of endless questions you can make to yourself and reflect upon them. The main thing you must never forget is that these factors are manageable, controllable. You have the power of decision when it comes to the decision-making part of the process.

Opportunities and Threats

Both of this factors are external to the company. They cannot be controlled by actions or fully forecasted. However, not all predictions go through the drain, so being prepared to some of them or actually being aware of their existence is already a major step. Some factors involving Opportunities and Threats are:

  • How well can you understand when a good opportunity appears?
  • What are the company’s interest?
  • How does the Government affect your surrounding market and what benefits/drawbacks do they bring to you?
  • Better understanding of your major consumer.
  • Advance in technology and how it implicates with your company.
  • What obstacles do you face on a daily basis?
  • What and how are your competitors doing?
  • How’s business from a financial point of view?
  • Do you access to credit?
  • Are you in debt?

Those were just a few of many intricate questions you can do it to yourself, so by doing it and really putting some mental effort into it, you’ll be able to understand your goals and your company better. Be efficient, start swotting.

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