Fundamentals – SWOT Analysis

Created 08/04/2021 12:00am

Are you SWOTing up for success?


Do you ever think that because SWOT analysis is so well known, it gets pushed aside?

As the proverb goes, familiarity breeds contempt.

Or maybe you feel you have so much familiarity with this tool it’s no longer something you need to write down?

We find that if the step before – an external analysis of your environment (PESTLE) has been missed then the motivation to do your internal SWOT analysis is reduced.

Which is weird when we all know the reality of life is that whilst we can’t control what happens outside of our businesses, we can minimize the effects of any undesirable internal influences.

SWOT is the internal analysis as to “why our business is successful or not” – why would you push it aside when if used properly, it’s a really important and effective tool?

We see the best results, when leaders understand it’s not the box ticking exercise of a yearly SWOT analysis, but that the real power lies within what they’re going to do with their findings.

When we think about how critical it is for any leaders in recruitment businesses considering how they are going to stay on top of their goals and vision, would it not make sense to regularly SWOT up?


Business SWOT Analysis

Are you threatening me?


That’s quite an aggressive question but maybe you are the leader of a business who feels they are dodging threatening behaviour every day.

The threats we’re referring are the external forces which could throw your growth plans totally off course.

If we feel threatened our go to response is emotional. Transferring that type of response to a business strategy is often one sorely regretted.

In the context of SWOT analysis the Threats, whilst could be internal, are more likely linked to the external environment. Weaknesses however tend to be within our own business and within our control.

Whatever external forces are nipping at our heels, it’s key we understand the differences between the Threats and Weaknesses in our SWOT analysis. When we understand those, our response to threats will be strategic and not an irrational, emotional reaction.

If you consider your Strengths, Weaknesses and so on and understand the challenges you’re faced with then you can anticipate them. After all forewarned is forearmed!

Finally, there are 2 rules those “winning” leaders apply:

Firstly, they harness the power and core benefit of SWOT. They take their findings one step further by responding to what they can do about those threats and weaknesses.

Secondly, they remain one step removed when looking at the weaknesses and remain objective. Hard to do as we try to positively spin the weakness into something else. Involving other colleagues – and sometimes external advisors – also helps them retain the objectivity.

Group of people around a whiteboard

Who is the poor relation in your business?


When was the last time you conducted a SWOT analysis on your business?

When was the last time you conducted a SWOT analysis on each division?

The leaders of agile consultancies see their business as the sum of all parts and in doing so, understand each division as they relate to their business as a whole.

As leaders, we can improve our SWOT analysis and the action to take as a result our findings. Here’s how:

  • Given SWOT analysis should be an on-going activity, it would be even better if we adopted a mindset that SWOT should be done for each division within our recruitment businesses.
  • We will be more agile to use identified strengths against the competition
  • We can quickly initiate and set in motion the specific opportunities identified within a group or division
  • Be they internal or external, the threats will feel more manageable. It will not be an overwhelming threat as it has only been exposed within a specific area of the business and not a missile threatening to obliterate the company as a whole.

If we can treat and understand our businesses in this segmented way, it eradicates any “poor relation” culture whilst simultaneously supercharging employee engagement.