Now that we’ve mastered the SWOT analysis, it’s time to take what you’ve learned and put it into action. Determine the objectives you’ll pursue and create a plan for achieving those objectives. This will give you the clarity you need to move forward.

Start with your strengths. How will you double down on the things you’re already doing well? Does your sales team have a high close rate? Focus on getting more prospects to the team. Do you have a large email list? Work on converting them from readers to buyers.

Then look at your weaknesses. How can you change, minimize, or even eliminate these areas? Is your profit margin low? Create a plan for reducing production costs. Do you have trouble keeping customers? Develop a customer retention strategy.

Move on to opportunities. Is there a new market you can move into? Can you implement a new technology that will help you be more efficient? Determine the greatest opportunities for your business and the steps you’ll take to capitalize on those opportunities.

Finish with threats. How will you avoid or adapt to those things that could hurt your business? Do you need to take steps to adjust to new customer preferences? Do you need to change your pricing strategy to keep up with the competition?

Remember to create both objectives and a plan for how you’ll meet those objectives. It’s not enough to say, “I want to increase my profit margin.” You also need to determine the specific steps you’ll take to make that happen.

Your objectives need to be:

  • Measurable. You must be able to determine whether you’ve hit your objective.
  • Achievable. Be realistic in your goal setting. Aim for things that you can actually achieve.
  • Timely. Set a specific date by which you’ll meet your objectives. This will give you a sense of urgency.