Have you ever looked into your company and thought “what are we really good at and what could we work on?” Have you ever thought, “what could be a threat to my company and how can we avert that?” Well then, my fellow digital marketer you and your company need to have a S.W.O.T meeting. What is S.W.O.T you may ask? Well it stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. In any business you really need to look at all of these things for your company to grow and prosper for the coming year. I personally think doing this exercise at the beginning of each year is a great place to start. It allows you to sit down with your employees and really dive into it. It also gives your employees a platform to say what they feel, and you can take that into account and help them either fix it or give them the means to execute a plan to make an account bigger or improve it. It really is a win-win situation for your company and another way to help grow and fix certain things within your business. I never thought of this exercise personally as I was coming up in my career but now that I have seen it and experienced it, I can honestly say that it is for the better of your business and your employees. You may ask yourself “how is it for the better for my employees?” well think about it, your employees are there to see that the work gets done for the clients, they may at times develop ideas or either concerns with how things are being done. This gives them the floor to open you up to ideas that you may have not seen or thought of. In this article we will go over each portion of S.W.O.T and how it affects you, your clients, your employees and your business. So, without further ado here is the latest article from yours truly on S.W.O.T.
In any company or business, you have your strengths. Now you may wonder what those might be, well I can tell you right out of the gate that one of your strengths in your company is your employees. Your employees in my opinion are hands down any company’s strengths. They are there turning the wrenches and getting the work done for you and your clients and seeing that the client has a positive and professional experience. When you are looking at strengths you have to also look at whether or not that strength is also a weakness, opportunity or threat because it could be easily fall into the other 3 categories, but when you are looking at strengths really evaluate that it is a strength before you throw it on the board.
This is a touchy one I know, no company wants to admit it has weakness’s because it makes you feel just that, weak, however in all reality realizing a weakness in your company is not a weakness at all, its actually a strength. You want your employees to know that you are open minded enough to see and recognize a weakness when it is there, now a weakness is something that can be improved with either hard work or changing it completely. I have seen us take a weakness and turn it into a strength in time. It is possible to do without a doubt. But like I said it takes time. Time in my opinion creates opportunities and opportunities creates relationships which creates money.
This is one of my favorite parts about S.W.O.T, opportunities do not come often but when they do it is very important that you capitalize on them quickly. When performing a S.W.O.T meeting make sure you listen to every employee closely because believe it or not you can get an opportunity to do something amazing through a strength, weakness or threat. So use your judgment when listening to your employees to determine if you can find a opportunity through any of the other three. We find all sorts of gold nuggets when doing these meetings and we are quick to jump on them because you never know what will happen with an opportunity when it is in front of you.
I know you’re thinking now “I don’t have any threats within my company” you are right, not in your company but what about outside of your company? Like new technology that you are unaware of or a new competitor that has popped up that you are not aware of and has been getting more of the business that you should be getting but they are offering the same service or product you do at a cheaper price. These are things that your employees can bring to your attention and help you realize and help you either turn it into a strength or an opportunity. Threats are always out there, it doesn’t matter how you look at it they are there, but it is important that you recognize it and neutralize it immediately.
In closing I truly believe that this exercise is important to do with your team and it will help you and your company grow and become better. I don’t believe this is something that is needed every month or so but maybe every six months or like I said in the beginning at the start of the new year. We here do it every new year and we have gotten a lot of great things out of it and we have also taken the time to look at things that might be a threat or weakness and turned it into a strength or a opportunity. You must be open minded with your employees as well and not let emotion get in the way of what is best for you and your business. That is a huge part of this exercise is to leave out your personal ego and listen to your team. You may not like what some of them say or what they come up with, but they need to know that you want what is best for them and their clients. Do what you feel is best and what you think is right and go with it. Hear out your team and take everything they say and absorb it and learn from it. You can be the CEO, founder or whatever but nobody is to good learn something new or to listen to your team on suggestions, talk it out with them and they will see that they are being heard and that you are willing and able to take their suggestions and concerns into account and either help them grow an idea or you are willing to help them ease their worry about a threat or weakness. I have seen this process work first hand and if you take this information for whatever it is worth, I guarantee you will see it work for you as well. Thank you again for taking the time to read this very long article and remember to be open minded when doing this exercise and you will find some gold nuggets in there I assure you.