The end of the year is rapidly approaching, which means it is time to start planning for 2021. While many companies aren’t ending the year the way they had anticipated and were forced to pivot rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that doesn’t mean that you should forgo planning for the year to come. How can you use a SWOT analysis to kick-start planning for 2021?

What Is a SWOT Analysis? 

A SWOT analysis is one way that you can survey your internal strengths (S), weaknesses (W), external opportunities (O) and threats (T). All of this information is designed to help you determine the best path forward for your business so that you can continue to set and work towards your goals.

Conducting a SWOT Analysis

  1. Determine what the objective of your analysis is, whether you are planning for 2021 as a whole or looking to analyze a particular area of your business.
  2. Start to research your industry, business, market, and competitors. Market research is a great way to learn more about the current conditions in the aftermath of 2020 and what might be in store next year.
  3. Identify the strengths of your business as a group. Some of the strengths you could have might include your employees, your business location, competitiveness, market position, financial resources and more. You don’t need to create an exhausting list, but instead just create a starting place.
  4. Catalog your business’s primary weaknesses. Instead of shying away from them, take this opportunity to be critical and reflect. Whether you are struggling to get new clients, or your staff are struggling to stay motivated, your weaknesses could take a broad variety of forms.
  5. Think about the opportunities that are available for your business when planning for 2021. Could a new product help to align you better with current market interests? How could new technology or a new partnership help you to better adapt and win in 2021?
  6. Finally, think about the threats to your business. When planning for 2021, remember the threats that your business experienced in 2020. While the turbulence of this year has been tough, there are plenty of lessons to be learned.

Our biggest advice is to not do this independently. We recommend you do a SWOT with your leadership team, departments, and even customers or vendors. The more perspectives you can include, the more ideas you can generate, and the more data you have to analyze.

Once you finish your SWOT analysis, start to look for themes, and from those themes, create your 2021 priorities. Stay tuned for the next two blogs in this series.

Get Help Planning for 2021 with Zenith Performance Solutions

Zenith Performance Solutions wants to transform the ways that you and your employees learn. We offer a comprehensive range of training course design services, including updating existing courses and consulting. We work with companies of every size to create innovative and instructionally sound materials that boost employee performance and satisfy your objectives. To learn more, please contact us by calling (970) 409-4013.