SWOT Analysis: Key Component in Strategic Planning

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SWOT Analysis: Key Component in Strategic Planning

Please reflect: “Strategic Planning and SWOT Analysis”. Share your thoughts about this important topic.

Pick a South Florida, USA Health System and work on the four elements in a SWOT analysis relative to strategic planning in healthcare organizations.

An analysis of your company’s strengths and weaknesses should be a key component of your strategic planning process. This easy-to-use tool also identifies your company’s opportunities and any threats it faces (hence the term “SWOT”).

This analysis helps you see how you stand out in the marketplace; how you can grow as a business; and where you are vulnerable. The process takes into account both internal and external factors your company must navigate.

Don’t make the mistake of preparing a SWOT analysis and then ignoring it as you develop your strategic plan. Instead, your plan should include concrete steps to harness your company’s strengths in order to target the opportunities identified in your analysis. The plan should also include specific measures to address the weaknesses and threats you face.

Here are more details on the four elements in a SWOT analysis.

1. Strengths

Make a list of your company’s internal strengths. These are any competitive advantage, skill, proficiency, experience, talent or other internal factor that improves your company’s position in the marketplace and can’t be easily copied.

Examples include solid financing, a superior brand, valuable intellectual property, superior technology, modern equipment and/or machinery, a well-trained sales team, low staff turnover, management expertise, operational efficiency, high customer retention, good supplier relationships, etc.

2. Weaknesses

These are the factors that reduce your company’s ability to achieve its objectives. Examples include unreliable suppliers, outdated equipment and/or machinery, insufficient marketing efforts, lack of financing, management weaknesses, gaps in expertise, etc.

Be as honest as you can when identifying these deficiencies. Ignoring weaknesses means you can’t make decisions that will strengthen your company.

3. Opportunities

Opportunities are external factors that allow your business to grow and be more profitable. Examples would include new potential marketsinnovations; technological advances; consumer trends; support from governments, the community or business partners; etc.

One way to identify your opportunities is to closely analyze your competitors’ weaknesses.

4. Threats

Threats are external obstacles your business must overcome. Threats may include a declining economy, a consumer shift to other products, technological change, a labor shortage, community opposition, legal or regulatory changes, etc.

It’s often useful to take a close look at your competitors’ strengths to identify external threats to your company. Again, be as honest as possible.

To learn more:  https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/business-strategy-planning/define-strategy/pages/swot-analysis-easy-tool-strategic-planning.aspx

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