Marketing 101: The Importance of a SWOT Analysis

So I was working with a new client recently who had been struggling and I asked them if they had ever done a SWOT analysis for the business. 

After the funny look, they admitted that they did not know what it was. 

I immediately blurted out without thinking about it, "that should be your next step."

If you have ever spent any time in a corporate work environment, you have probably heard of a SWOT analysis.  In a nutshell, a SWOT Analysis is a framework for taking a long, hard look at your business or project.   

A SWOT analysis is often used as part of an ongoing strategic planning effort or at the beginning of a project.  The framework provides valuable insights that assist with decision-making because it enables organizations to uncover opportunities for success that were previously unknown and highlight potential threats so that they can be addressed as part of the overall plan.

Elements of a SWOT Analysis

SWOT is an acronym for the following 4 elements:

Performing a SWOT Analysis

A SWOT usually begins with ownership laying out the overall vision and objectives for the business or project.  Once you have this, you will want to gather a team of people together to work on a SWOT analysis. You don’t need an all-day retreat to get it done, though. One or two hours should be more than plenty.

Make sure all stakeholders and/or a representative from each group are present.  You’ll find that having different perspectives from each of the groups will give your analysis a better chance of success.

There is no right or wrong way to conduct the SWOT meeting.  It is generally done by asking a series of questions for each category and brainstorming to come up with the best responses to those questions. 

How to use Your SWOT Analysis

Once you have conducted the analysis, start by looking at your strengths and determine how you can use those strengths to take advantage of your opportunities. Then, look at how your strengths can address the threats that are in the market.

Use this analysis to produce a list of actions that you can take. With your action list in hand, look at your company calendar and start placing goals (or milestones) on it.  Determine what do you want to accomplish in each calendar quarter (or month) moving forward.

Why is this so valuable?

The SWOT analysis and the resulting action list helps to provide a clear vision and strategy for your business or project.  Decision-makers will have better insights into the business or project and should be in a better position to determine if an initiative, project, or product is worth pursuing and what is needed to make it successful.

And not only that, the process wasn’t completed by management and simply handed down.  It involved all stakeholders so that everyone could have a say in the direction of the organization. This provides additional clarity and support for the mission at all levels of the organization.

Other things to consider.

If a SWOT analysis is deficient in one or more areas, the results may be skewed and offer an incomplete perspective for decision making. To prevent this from happening, take extra care to consider the questions that are asked while conducting the analysis and make sure that each area is thoroughly examined in terms of the overall business or project objectives.    

Another problem with the SWOT analysis is that it only captures factors at a particular point in time and doesn't allow for how those factors could change over time.  As a result, the insights from SWOT have a limited shelf life and need to be updated.  When used for strategic planning or at the beginning of long projects, a SWOT should be reviewed regularly.   

Why Are Online Reviews So Important for Contractors?

Home remodeling is booming.  Home renovations have been on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic.  In 2020, CNBC reported on a survey from Houzz, an online home remodeling platform, where they showed a 58% annual increase in year-over-year project leads for home professionals.

And there’s no sign of a slowdown yet.  A little over 1 year later, Business Wire is reporting that they expect an 11% increase for home remodeling in 2021.  Positive sentiment among residential contractors is at record levels. 

Another recent survey from Houzz reported that home renovation spending has grown 15% in the last year.  Smart technology, kitchen, and outdoor renovations are among the hottest trends.

Where do all of those new customers find contractors to do their projects?  The simple answer is online.  They are looking for contractors that they can trust to do a good job or a reasonable price.  In most cases, customers are turning to reviews to help them make their final decision.

5 reasons why reviews are so important for contractors:

  1. Builds Trust – Consider this…According to a survey from Bright Local, 93% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses and 84% of people indicated that they trust online reviews more than a personal recommendation.  These are amazing numbers and indicate the power of online reviews.
  2. Improves SEO – Positive online reviews are one of the most important ranking factors when it comes to local search.  Quality reviews are a strong indication that your business is trustworthy and has some authority in the marketplace.
  3. Identifies Problems – Several reviews may indicate an area of the business that needs to be addressed.  Reviews can show trends and can be a valuable tool in getting feedback from your customers.
  4. Can help with customer retention – With quality review monitoring, measured responses to negative reviews, and addressing issues in real life, you can help retain customers that would otherwise find someone else the next time they need help.  It can also provide public proof that you will go above and beyond to address any problems that come up. 
  5. Can be used in future promotion – Quality reviews from your customers always go a long way to helping others make decisions to use your business.  You can use these reviews in future marketing campaigns to highlight your successes.

As you can see, there are many reasons why contractors should be focused on getting good quality reviews. Having good quality reviews for your business boosts all other marketing activities.  There is nothing else that comes close to the impact that a small business can experience from getting quality positive reviews.

The Right Way to Quality Reviews

Right Way local can help your business grow with reputation management tools that help you monitor online reviews across sites, respond to them from one place, and provide a proven system for getting positive reviews from new and existing customers.  When coupled with our tools to attract new leads and increase traffic, businesses can maximize the impact of their marketing efforts.

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