Conduct an internal SWOT analysis

1. Set aside time with company leadership to go over your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Set aside at least three hours to complete this activity. Followup meetings will likely be needed to assess and implement the changes you want to make based on your findings.

2. On a sheet of paper, create columns for your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

3. With your team, list the strengths your company offers - including strengths of your customers and clients, and strengths of your team.

Look at what you do well, the resources you have to offer, qualities that set you apart, tangible assets, and your company’s unique selling proposition. For example, you may have an excellent customer service department that gets you rave reviews online. Add these to your Strengths column.

4. List all of the weaknesses your company has, including areas that need improvement or where your resources are lacking.

Try looking at your company from the eyes or a prospective client or customer: what might they see as lacking? For example, if your company deals in selling lumber, but one of your service reps doesn’t know the specifications of each type you sell, that is a weakness.

5. List the opportunities that may be open to your company that you aren’t currently pursuing.

Include things like: Few competitors in your area Trends you can take advantage of Press coverage for your company.  For example, if your local news station is running a local businesses feature segment and needs participants, this is an opportunity.

6. List the threats that may be present against your company.

Include: What the competition is doing. Changes in the market. Government regulation. The general economy. Changes in consumer behavior. New innovations. For example, if you run an ice cream shop and there is another one down the road that runs more specials than you or offers more flavors, list that as a threat.

7. Make a list on a separate sheet of paper of how these four areas might work with each other to further the mission or goals of your company.

Break up your list into categories, for example: Action items to complete now, to complete in the future, and to complete if certain events occur. By department that will work on the item By importance.  Try to use some of your listed strengths to open up opportunities. See if you can eliminate threats and weaknesses by utilizing your strengths or pursuing opportunities. Take the time to seek out actionable steps that are timely, appropriate, helpful, and agreed upon by all involved in the process.  For example, if you run a real estate business, one of your weaknesses may be that you aren’t currently active on social media. One of your strengths could be that you take amazing interior photos or that you love talking about the homes you list. You could create an opportunity by combining your interior photos with great captions explaining the home and posting them on social media, tackling one of your weaknesses.

8. Prioritize items on your list that you will pursue by considering account time, budget, manpower, and the future of your company.

You may choose to put your list to a vote and pursue the opportunities that the majority feel are worth it. Or, you could set up a ranking system to see which opportunities are going to be the most beneficial for your company.