A SWOT analysis is often used in strategic planning by construction companies. The acronym SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The SWOT approach can also be used in developing a plan that’s not strategic. For example, it can help you create marketing plans, staffing plans, business plans, and more.To maximize your success, though, it’s critical to follow the SWOT process by using discipline and eliminating personal bias. Start by asking these questions:
What are our 3 greatest strengths?
How do we know what they are? How will we leverage this information?
As an example, if company leaders identify “reputation” as a strength, it must take in more data beyond the leaders’ view of themselves. If proof exists, then building strategic initiatives to leverage that strength may make sense. Unfortunately, leaders’ bias often trumps the formal measurement process; therefore, their plan may be flawed.
What are our 3 greatest weaknesses?
How do we know what they are? How will we improve?
Weaknesses generally fall into the categories of people and capital. Knowing your weaknesses and doing nothing about them can lead to long-lasting problems affecting your company’s ability to grow profitably. Putting a plan in place to tackle your weaknesses has been critical to the survival of many companies.
What are our 3 greatest opportunities?
How do we know what the opportunities are? How will we capitalize on them?
Don’t fall into the trap of defining someone’s “pet project” or “hot button” as an opportunity. This happens far too often. You want to strategically capitalize on real opportunities, which likely fall under the categories of streamlined processes, profitable growth, expansion, mergers, and acquisitions.
What are our 3 greatest threats?
How do we know what they are? How will we master them?
Regardless of the many threats to your business, being proactive is key to your success. Identify and anticipate the actual threats and know they are real. Successful leaders don’t take the approach of reacting to a threat once it’s on their doorstep. Thoughtful positioning will result in a better outcome than reacting to a threat.
THE SWOT PROCESS
Be intentional as you use the SWOT process, which helps you become more disciplined as you make sound decisions and create effective plans to grow your business.
As you’ll find, it’s easy to list a strength, a weakness, an opportunity, or a weakness. However, it takes unbiased effort and discipline to substantiate the items you’ve included. It also takes open discussion and a healthy debate to take the correct actions. That’s why many organizations bring in an outside perspective to facilitate the discussion. Sometimes an internal bias (such as believing it has “the best customer service in the industry”) isn’t recognized until an outsider constructively brings it to your attention.
A SWOT analysis requires more than gathering a list of action items and working them. You must adopt a structured approach to prioritizing these items according to those having the greatest impact on the business. From there, you build action plans to achieve those priorities.
About the Coach:
As a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Contact Randy directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com. For more, visit leadersedge360.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2022
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