My first year in business, I made $4 million off of one $20 item."

Sara Blakely, philanthropist, and inventor of Spanx

Sara Blakely identified market position and knew what the customer she was going after desired before revolutionizing the underwear industry with Spanx.

In this strategic exercise, data is your closest friend, but be cautious should you become enemies. Even while “customer experience is listed consistently as a top concern for enterprises,” 89 percent of C-level executives agree that erroneous data is harming their capacity to create an excellent customer experience, according to a global study by Experian.

Dig Deep into Your Data

In this strategic exercise, data is your closest friend, but be cautious should you become enemies. Even while “customer experience is listed consistently as a top concern for enterprises,” 89 percent of C-level executives agree that erroneous data is harming their capacity to create an excellent customer experience, according to a global study by Experian.

A true assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is what quality data entails. The ability to modify and help decision-making processes is a major value of SWOT data.

To uncover reliable internal and external data to use for growth, you’ll have to delve deep. Internal data refers to the elements that contribute to your company’s performance. Circumstances beyond your control that have an impact on your business are known as external forces. Your findings will indicate where your company ranks among competitors.

Curating can still feel like a mammoth task, so we’ve included some pointers below.

Where to Look Internally

  • Profitability
  • Company workflows
  • Employee feedback (especially exit interviews and surveys)
  • Customer insights and review¬†
  • Consumer analytics
  • Current revenue, past revenue and future projections
  • Company workflows
  • Efficiency levels
  • Operational inefficiencies

Where to Look Externally

  • Labor markets
  • Economic forecasts
  • Supply chain
  • Competitor data (all companies have strengths and weaknesses, including your biggest competitor)
  • Real estate
  • Government & industry regulations
  • New technologies (will any make¬†your products or services obsolete or necessary?)
  • Social trends

Now, What Sets YOU Apart?

Use your data to establish what sets you apart once you’ve completed each stage of the SWOT analysis. Is this a product of yours? What’s more important to you: your price, your people, or your process? What you come up with as a way to differentiate your company is crucial to your marketing and messaging. It’s how you’ll interact with customers and earn their trust.

Strengths are opportunities to take concrete actions toward realizing the full potential of your company, as outlined in your prior goal and vision statements. When it comes time to add team members, set associated goals, and align work with the strategy, leaders who are willing to be objective and open throughout this phase will find it rewarding.