Jan 4 2024

SWOT and Impact Assessment

Now that you have your SWOT analysis - your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats - it's time to take the next step. How do you use this information to create a strategic plan? This is where impact assessment comes in.

Read more about how to do a SWOT for your business...

Matching Strengths and Weaknesses with Opportunities and Threats

Imagine that you are standing at the crossroads of a maze. Behind you are your strengths and weaknesses, your experience and equipment. In front of you are paths filled with opportunities and threats, each path leading to different outcomes. How do you choose the right path? It's time to put what you have against what could be.

Strengths and Opportunities: Creating Advantages

Here you combine what you are best at with the golden opportunities in front of you. If one of your strengths is innovation and there is a growing trend in sustainable technology, you can use your innovation to create new green solutions. 

Weaknesses and Threats: Minimising Risks

Knowing your weaknesses and the potential threats allows you to create a plan to protect yourself. If a weakness is a lack of experienced staff and a threat is a new competitor, consider partnerships or training programmes to strengthen your team. 

Strengths and Threats: Defend and Innovate

Use your strengths to face and overcome threats. If you are known for your customer service and a threat is a new market trend that requires faster service, use your strength to develop innovative customer solutions. 

Weaknesses and Opportunities: Overcome and Capitalise

Even your weaknesses can be turned into advantages if you smartly match them with opportunities. If you have limited access to a market (weakness) but a new technology makes it possible to reach globally (opportunity).


Create your Strategic Plan

Identify Combinations: Use SWOT to identify possible combinations and scenarios.
Prioritise the pathways: Not all opportunities are worth exploring, and not all threats require immediate attention. Choose which ones are most critical or promising.
Activities: For each prioritised combination, develop a specific action plan. What needs to be done, by whom and when?
Monitoring and Adaptation: The business world is constantly changing. Monitor regularly to see if your plans are still relevant and adapt them if necessary.

Read more about strategic planning...

Using impact assessment to create a strategic plan is like choosing the best path in a maze based on your understanding of the maze and your own capabilities. It is a dynamic process that requires understanding, patience and willingness to adapt.