Is SWOT of any real value?

SWOT analyses (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) have been around for years. I always thought they were a bit of a gimmick, but later on, I saw their value.

This was when I realised that the Weaknesses and Threats could be used to create Opportunities.

You'll recall my recent article called Blessed Crises? What makes a crisis blessed? The fact that it stops you in your tracks and forces you to re-plan your future.

You can use a SWOT analysis to do the same thing (and it's a lot less painful).

My big weakness was that I was useless at sales and marketing - and I figured all salesmen were a bunch if prima-donnas who needed their heads patted every time they a) got a new prospect b) quoted them c) got an order d) delivered the goods e) collected the money.

What an opportunity! I figured that some of my strengths were that I loved helping people, am a good public speaker and a good teacher. My weaknesses included cocktail party syndrome (I'm the guy that stands alone in the corner), fear of cold calling and fear of losing. I figured a way to sell without having to confront my weaknesses - jack up my marketing so that potential clients find us via Google and come to me, offer free consultation, again, so that my potential clients come to me, chat to new clients when they come to us, find out what they're up to and do my damnedest to help them.

A Threat's the same. It forces you to be creative. Sit down, get to fully understand the problem (threat) and find the way passed it. There's always a way and it will most likely set you on a new path.


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