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Corporate planning and SWOT analysis

In order to remain in business, most business owners have to constantly reevaluate their business model and their market and target audience in order to stay on top. With emerging trends, corporate influence and new businesses being founded every day, the changes to keep up with are phenomenal.

When you’re trying to get your head wrapped around corporate planning and SWOT analysis, remember that everyone else out there is having the same troubles that you are; there’s no perfect one size fits all solution in the business world, and it’s no easy effort to arrive at a solution for your own business. But trust me, your future will thank you for taking the time to do this.

What is a SWOT analysis?

This analysis is a planning method for strategy and effectiveness in any area of life or business, but is popularly used for a particular product or industry. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

S – strengths

This initial analysis is about the characteristics of your business that make it stand out; that give it the advantage over other businesses

W – weaknesses

These are characteristics that, in relation to other businesses, place yours at a disadvantage

O – opportunities

Elements such as events, people, timing, etc. that your business could exploit and turn into a strength or advantage

T – threats

Any environment or element that could possibly cause your business trouble

A common way of using this strategy is about matching and then converting. This means that businesses “match” their strengths to their opportunities to find the greatest advantages that they can. Afterward, your business takes the threats and weaknesses and converts them into the other two; strengths and opportunities.

As part of corporate planning and SWOT analysis, this model can be used to analyze business potential and environmental validity. Using SWOT develops, establishes and prepares business owners for their ever-changing market and how they can fit their business into the new shape it will take. Although this is very much an ongoing process, making sure that these steps are done properly and regularly will result in the obtaining of a clearer, bigger picture of your business and how you can use that to develop strategies.

Some strategies that one can develop using SWOT:

  • Marketing;
  • Research and development;
  • Information systems;
  • Technology;
  • Human resources.

Traditionally, managers would look at financial statements to judge how well their businesses are doing; this is no longer adequate. In today’s changing world, just because you’re making good money now doesn’t mean you will next year, or even tomorrow. Corporate analysis and planning for the future market demand allows you to make outlines on how you’ll approach predicted situations and shifts in the market data.

Don’t get caught napping in this modern age of business. If you want to survive, you need to strategize and work for your position. At any given time, you want to be prudent and aware, so that you have the ability to manage risks.