SWOT Analysis In Action

January 18th, 2011 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

SWOT analysis of LeMillphoto © 2007 Hans Põldoja | more info (via: Wylio)
SWOT Analysis is a tool in my toolbox that I really like to utilize.  In previous posts we covered what SWOT Analysis is and Questions to Ask During a SWOT Analysis.  This post shows actual output from the exercise to help you visualize the process.

I worked with a Flower and Gift Shop on their strategic planning.  As part of the process we explored how much the employees knew about the business.  Then, we sat down and actually performed the SWOT Analysis.  Here are the results for the Fresh Flowers Product Line.

FRESH FLOWERS

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES OPPORTUNITIES THREATS
– Design – Waste – Window display – Stop & Shop
– Variety – Covering of help/staffing – Group deliveries by time of day – Big-box stores/gas stations
– Delivery time/quality – Staffing allocation to tasks – Customer appreciation – Not working together
– Quality – Broaden customer base – Flower specials – Corner sales
– Employee loyalty – Inventory management – Space consolidation & allocation – Poor planning
– Older clientele loyalty – Poor project planning – Cross-training of staff – Cash flow
– Care/preparation/cleaning – Delivery scheduling – Shop vendors: price, quality, etc
– Can handle special orders – Day-to-day management – Shop competition
– Customer service – Staff education
– Customer education
– Care sheets
– Vary margins/mark-ups
– Ready-made bouquets
– Outside store sales
– Impulse buys: high margin merchandise

The Findings

The company owner discovered many opportunities to innovate and build upon company strengths.

The Takeaway

SWOT Analysis helps companies identify opportunities to exploit utilizing their strengths and to minimize weaknesses and counteract threats.

These are actual output from the process.  What do you think?  Please comment below.

1.      Can you now better visualize a SWOT Analysis?

2.      How can this company grow?

3.      How can this company address its threats?

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21 comments

  1. Nicole says:

    Great information! These are all important things to keep in mind for any business. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jame Vivar says:

    Good post. I’m experiencing a few of these issues as well..

  3. CL Webb says:

    Here’s some growth ideas:

    Offer a “Bouquet of the Month” to existing customers & the public.

    Offer an automated flower delivery service (especially for husbands) that auto delivers on spouses birthday, anniversary, other special days, etc. OR just offer a reminder service for them to remind them.

    Joint venture with candy store, wine shop, gift basket provider, etc. to combine the flowers in the sells from other locations.

    There’s lots of stuff you can do to grow every business… I could go on for hours… but I have to take a client call.

  4. Thi Warm says:

    I favor looking at flower photograph galleries online, before I buy bouquete, as I might see significant number of distinct arranging and colorings. As well almost all times, I purchase fresh flowers on the web for different occasions.

  5. Hey Rob,

    I agree with Jeannette in that many people think SWOT is reserved for only the larger companies when in reality, it is like Catherine says, a form of psychotherapy for businesses to help them identify what they already have in the way of strengths in their employees and to help them utilize those strengths to the betterment of everyone.

    • Rob Berman says:

      Julie:

      I have been amazed at how many people are reading the SWOT posts. The two I wrote last year are my top two posts of all time. This post is taking off as well. I am working on a fourth one to help meet the need for people who want to know more. The psychotherapy idea really is intriguing.

      Talk to you soon,

      Rob

      • Ke says:

        next time tell us which would be the best alternatives that would be crucial to their strategic plan and why.

  6. Agree with Jeannette. It’s true however that you can find opportunities by doing one, provided you are innovative and positive. Negative and cautious people probably focus too much on threats and weaknesses.

    • Rob Berman says:

      Catarina:

      Interesting observation about what people focus on. My approach has always been to build on the strengths and eliminate or minimize the weaknesses and threats.

      Rob

  7. It’s sort of like psychotherapy for business owners because they already have the answers inside of them – they just need to ask the right questions. Thanks for posting this case study Rob. Would you correct my SWOT spelling on my earlier post?

    • Rob Berman says:

      Catharine:

      You are so right about the answers being in your head. As I have told many business owners, “You do not have a plan unless you take it out of your head, write it down and share as appropriate.” I will tackle the spelling.

      Rob

  8. The visual on this is great and of course the SWOT acronym, being easy to remember makes the process an easy “go to”. To address your question about the company addressing it’s threats… I think the best way is to address the human factor… namely the strengths of the staff in the floral shop. Maximizing the human potential, individually and in team spirit is to me the strongest glue to cement success and outdo the competition.

    • Rob Berman says:

      Keyuri;

      You are correct about the human factor. The staff needed to change. The remaining ones needed to be retrained. It was an ah ha moment for the owner when she realized this point.

      Rob

  9. Susan Oakes says:

    Hi Rob,

    I have found that after you do this step if you narrow it down to the top 3 or 4 maximum, then prioritise this can lead to greater focus and things get accomplished.

  10. Rob — I think some people think SWOT analysis is too complicated to and reserved for the big companies. But obviously, it’s a good tool for companies both large – and small. Congratulations on your work with the flower and gift shop.

    • Rob Berman says:

      Jeannette:

      I agree that many people think SWOT is only for big businesses. It is the same process. Big businesses just need to chop the tasks down to smaller segments. Those segments are just like smaller businesses.

      Rob

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