SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It’s a way to analyze your business, or in this case our community, to help determine priorities. We have many distractions and things going on, and it’s difficult to prioritize and keep everything straight. So having a SWOT analysis at our own individual level (possibly including our family members), at our business level (including our employees, customers and suppliers in the analysis), and at our community level (with other members of our community) can help us keep things on track.
There are many excellent resources out there about SWOT analysis. Here are a couple to start with.
- Here is a simple, short introduction with a nice downloadable checklist: Your First Step Toward Business Growth: SWOT Analysis
- This one’s a bit more complex for more advanced learners: What Is a SWOT Analysis and How to Do It Right (With Examples)
Normally, a SWOT analysis is part of a business’s strategic plan, which determines goals and where to focus resources in order to reach the goals.
Strategic plan components:
- Goals, objectives, timelines
- Actions, strategies
- Measurement, funding
Strategic plan purpose:
- Identify what we’re trying to do and prioritize
- Succeed at what we’re trying to do – get supporters/investors/customers/partners/employees/resources/income
SWOT helps refine strategy so we don’t waste our time and resources on things not core to our strategy.