Vivek Mehrotra
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Congratulations! Now that you have reached the end of the book, you are ready to embark on a new journey; the journey for realizing your dreams. The first step towards this new journey is to do a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The analysis of these four factors is the first stage of the planning procedure.

Among these four factors, Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors. For example,

Strengths could be:

• A new, innovative idea
•The quality of the in-clinic performance
•Any other aspect of your personality that adds value to you, say assertiveness.

Weaknesses could be:

• The lack of managerial experience
• Poor communication skills
• The poor quality of your team members
• the damaged reputation of yourself or of the organization.

As against Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are external factors. For example,

Opportunities could be:

• A developing market for your product range
• Moving into new market segments that offer improved profits
• A market vacated by an ineffective competitor (product or organization).

Threats could be:

• A new competitor in your market
• Price wars with competitors
• That a competitor has a new or innovative product or service
• Competitors have better access to distribution channels.

Using the SWOT Analysis Successfully

Be specific and realistic about your strengths and weaknesses.
The analysis should distinguish between where you are today, and where you want to be in the future.
The analysis should take into account your competitors, i.e. are you better off or worse than your competitors?
Keep your SWOT analysis short and simple. Complexity and excessive analysis may take away the benefits of the entire exercise.

Let’s see how to go about the analysis of each factor.


• What advantages do you have over the competitors?
• What can you do better than the others?
• What unique resources do you have access to?
• What do people see as your strengths?

Always look at your strengths in relation to that of the Field Managers of other companies working in your HQ. If most of them follow high quality standards, then maintaining high quality standards for you and your team members becomes not strength, but a necessity.


• What could you improve?
• What should you avoid?
• What are people likely to see as your weaknesses?

Once again, consider these aspects objectively. Try to identify the weaknesses that your competitors would see in you. In doing this, try to be realistic.


• Where are the good opportunities that you face?
• Are you aware of the new and interesting trends?

It will be a useful exercise to look at your strengths and ask yourself how these strengths can open up an opportunity for you. Similarly, look at your weaknesses and ask yourself if you can open up an opportunity by eliminating them.


• What are the major obstacles that you face?
• What are the activities of your competitors?
• Are the required specifications for your job, products or services changing?
• Are changes in technology threatening your position?
• Could any of your weaknesses seriously threaten your future prospects?

The SWOT analysis should be done periodically, say at least once in six months; although a quarterly review would be ideal. Every time you do this analysis, your goal should be:

• To further consolidate on at least one Strength
• To convert at least one Weakness into a Strength
• To convert at least one Opportunity into a Strength
• To eliminate at least one Threat.

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