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“My revenue was $4 million my first year in business, off of one $20 item.”

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx and philanthropist

Before Sara Blakely overhauled the undergarment industry with Spanx, she defined market position and understood what the customer she was going after wanted.

Data is your best friend in this strategic exercise, but be vigilant or risk turning frenemies. According to a global study by Experian, even though “customer experience is cited repeatedly as a top priority for organizations, 89% of C-level executives agree that inaccurate data is undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience.”

Dig Deep into Your Data

Data is your best friend in this strategic exercise, but be vigilant or risk turning frenemies. According to a global study by Experian, even though “customer experience is cited repeatedly as a top priority for organizations, 89% of C-level executives agree that inaccurate data is undermining their ability to provide an excellent customer experience.”

Quality data means an honest assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A major benefit of SWOT data is transforming and aiding decision-making processes.

You must dig deep to find trustworthy internal and external data to leverage for growth. Internal data pertains to factors within your organization that contribute to its success. External factors are circumstances outside of your control that affect your business. Your findings will determine your organization’s place among the competition.

It can still feel like a massive undertaking to curate so we provided tips below.

Where to Look Internally

  • Profitability
  • Company workflows
  • Employee feedback (especially exit interviews and surveys)
  • Customer insights and review
  • Consumer analytics
  • Current revenue, past revenue and future projections
  • Company workflows
  • Efficiency levels
  • Operational inefficiencies

Where to Look Externally

  • Labor markets
  • Economic forecasts
  • Supply chain
  • Competitor data (all companies have strengths and weaknesses, including your biggest competitor)
  • Real estate
  • Government & industry regulations
  • New technologies (will any make your products or services obsolete or necessary?)
  • Social trends

Now, What Sets YOU Apart?

Once you complete every stage of the SWOT analysis, use your data to determine what sets you apart. Is it your product? Your price, people, or process? What you conclude differentiates your organization is critical to your marketing and messaging. It is how you will connect with customers and build loyalty.

Strengths are opportunities to create actionable steps to pursuing your firm’s full potential that you laid out in the previous mission and vision statements. Leaders willing to be objective and open in this phase find it worthwhile when the time comes to add team members, create interrelated goals, and align work with the strategy.

About Strategypoint

Strategypoint is a simple, flexible, and customizable strategy software. It embraces the fundamental elements of all popular strategy management best practices and lets you use them in the way that works best for you and your team.

Our goal is for you to have the peace of mind that your strategy is world-class and that it is working.

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