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Using a SWOT Analysis for Business Success - Not Your Gut


A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective.

The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a convention at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from Fortune 500 companies.

A SWOT analysis must first start with defining a desired end state or objective. A SWOT analysis may be incorporated into the strategic planning model. Strategic Planning, has been the subject of much research.

Strengths: characteristics of the business or team that give it an advantage over others in the industry.

Weaknesses: characteristics that place the firm at a disadvantage relative to others.

Opportunities: external chances to make greater sales or profits in the environment.

Threats: external elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business.

In essence, the message is:  Have a system to make decisions to ensure success vs. willy nilly.

The entrepreneur relies too much on body parts
for business success.


Here are examples:

  • The rule of thumb.
  • A gut feel.
  • Ear to the ground.
  • Seat of the pants.
  • More than meets the eye.
  • Keep the nose to the grindstone.
  • Heard it straight from the horse's mouth.
  • It costs an arm and a leg.
  • Follow your heart.
  • Keep a finger on the pulse of business.

Note:  More phrases for your fancy.

A SWOT analysis or the Five Essentials to Business Success are more helpful measurements. 

What are your measures of success?  How often do you measure success?  What is your accountability?  I hope it's not a sour gut.

Read more about the Five Essentials to Business Success here >

Topics: Business Success Leadership Business Success Tips Analysis