“Now I have real concrete goals to work towards.”
I was talking to my friend and colleague Andy Rohrbacher the other day when he made the above statement. He’s a triathlete just returning from his first national competition. This national race experience gave him perspective and metrics which enabled him to create goals to work towards.
His experience got me thinking—how can you create an experience that defines concrete goals for your business and your life?
A fundamental tool that can really make a quick difference in creating concrete goals is the SWOT analysis. This is an old standard, but a good one.
Strengths and Weaknesses are internally focused—things that theoretically are in your control.
S - Strengths. What’s working? Strengths are things that are within your control. They can include business processes, team assets, physical assets, competitive advantage, etc.
W - Weaknesses. What’s not working? These are things that are taking away from your ability to meet your goals. Think about business processes, assets, voids in your team skillset, your target market, etc.
Opportunities and Threats are external factors.
O - Opportunities. What external factors are available that can help you meet your goals? These can be market growth, competitor weaknesses, technology, new audiences, regulations, the time of year, etc.
T - Threats. What external factors endanger your business? Competitors, suppliers, technology, consumer behavior, and more can fit on this list.
Facilitating the SWOT
You need the right players in the room to harness the power of a SWOT analysis. For a small company, that means you want your company leader’s available and bought into the process. For a solopreneur, you may think about bringing in a trusted advisor or a client.
I also recommend doing your homework before performing a SWOT. Do you have customer satisfaction data available? How about employee feedback from the front lines? You may also want your accountant or another trusted advisor there.
It is always helpful to have outside facilitation that can provide perspective and help you truly see the possibilities a SWOT can provide. Because you don’t know what you don’t know—and the facilitator will have questions to ask that will open a new way of thinking and truly make a difference for you.
I’m here to help! I’m offering an end of summer SWOT for $97. These Zoom sessions are 45-minutes long and can help you create concrete goals for the future.