Converting Your SWOT Analysis into Goals

Most users of a SWOT analysis have difficulty in translating it into a set of planning goals. In my blog article How to Improve Your SWOT Analysis I gave 3 tips on improving your analysis. This article shows how to convert your improved SWOT analysis into a set of SMART goals.
A set of SMART goals are commercial in nature, interactive, and provide an approach for business owners who are concerned with the efficient planning and utilisation of resources:


The first step is to keep in mind that the long term success of your business requires you to:
•    maintain and build upon your strengths
•    overcome your weaknesses
•    seize your opportunities
•    address any threats.
The second step is to convert each SWOT entry into a goal for the planning period as follows:
1.    The Indicated Action is the starting point.
2.    Restate the Indicated Action in terms of a goal which is specific, achievable and can be measured.
3.    Taking into account Resources and Opportunity Cost confirm that the Indicated Action is realistic, can be resourced, and is still preferable to the next best alternative.
The third step is to determine the contribution each goal will make to achieving your vision for the business.
And, in the event you can’t address all your goals in the planning period and you have to determine a priority list, establish a set of criteria for this purpose. Such criteria may include urgency, the level of ‘pain’ in the business and cost/benefit.

Your set of SMART goals answer the critical planning question “where do I want the business to go?” Converting your SWOT analysis into goals is a critical step in any business planning process.

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