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How to Employ a SWOT Analysis to Achieve Success

By Bill Sitter

Business School students use a “SWOT” analysis approach to business opportunities. Let’s take a very quick look at what this means and, more importantly, how you can use a simplified “SWOT” approach for goal achievement for you and for your business.

The “S” stands for “Strengths” and this is where a person or a company’s strong points are listed. These can be personal or business strong points and examples might be superior sales skills or an outstanding value added product or service. The “W” is just the opposite and this leads to listing the “Weak Points” of vulnerability. This could be the fact that a product or service is new and unknown or that a person has relatively weak marketing or financial expertise or limited resources. Knowing the “W” helps when determining how to overcome or work around these areas; but the answer is definitely not in simply avoiding them. Perhaps the weaknesses can be overcome with special training or life coaching, or they may best be handled via alliances with outside experts.

The “O” in “SWOT” represents “Opportunities.” This may be opportunities for personal advancement, achievement of higher levels of income, or for a business it may lead to analysis of new products, services or markets. Finally, the “T” stands for “Threats.” Although this sounds ominous, it should be looked at as an analysis of things that may be beyond your control, but things that have the potential to derail your plans. For a business this might lead to a careful study of new competitive technologies that could suddenly make what you provide obsolete. An individual professional might find that he or she faces potential threats to their success path by a new method of delivering the goods or services they intend to deliver. An example might be the old door to door salesman who has been replaced by online ordering from EBay or Amazon.

With this simple explanation of “SWOT” analysis, the next move is for a success minded professional to employ this approach to all consideration of new ventures, including career path decisions. As a Christian Executive Life Coach, I also heartily recommend a heavy dose of prayer to get God in the middle of all your plans. May The Lord bless your career and business decisions and provide His Wisdom to guide you.

William Sitter Life Coaching, LLC provides services as a Christian Executive Life Coach and Bill is Board Certified by the International Association of Christian Coaches.