A Business Health Check-Up

It is surprising to find that many organizations do not prepare a comprehensive analysis of their business. Very few have a SWOT report.
Companies use the SWOT analysis to assess their business and look for new opportunities. Just as a health check-up can keep your mind and body healthy; the SWOT assessment can increase the health of your business.
It is vital to understand your organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT’S objective is to look into the organization’s services, culture, perception to the target consumer, vulnerabilities and opportunities. The company should do this to determine the positioning of its services in the competitive marketplace.
In analyzing its SWOT, the company is able to plan a course of action to be taken to reach its objectives. By assessing these different areas, the company will be better positioned to reach their objectives.
By playing up its strengths and taking steps to check its weaknesses, opportunities will present themselves. Awareness of its threats can help the company maneuver in the competitive environment. For example, knowing that its main competitor is launching a major advertising/marketing campaign and outspending your company will help you decide to possibly be more aggressive with your advertising/public relations/promotional activities.
A SWOT analysis is vital whether the company is a very small operation or a large corporation. It can be developed by members of the company in a brainstorming session or by surveys. The SWOT analysis serves the purpose of doing an in-house audit … it provides the tools to plan for a more productive marketing approach.
The following are some of the things to consider when doing the SWOT analysis:
What makes our organization different than the competition? What are we best at? What advantages do we have over competition? We may be smaller than our competitor but maybe that’s why we can be faster and more flexible.
In what areas do we need improvement? What problems do we have with our consumer base? What do our consumers complain about? What objections have we not been able to satisfy? Why are we not reaching the goals?
In what areas is our competition not satisfying their target market that our company can? Are there changes in the competitive marketplace that afford us new opportunities? Opportunities can also be new medical procedures, new patient satisfaction standards. Are there services that our competition has not offered that we can offer?
Are there areas we are liable to lose our position in the market place? Does competition have a larger advertising and public relations budget? Is competition receiving more media coverage and public recognition? A threat can also exist regardless of the competition, because of external changes such as deterioration in the consumer’s disposable income, unemployment and an increase in cost of food, gasoline and utilities.
An objective SWOT analysis will make you face reality and give you a better understanding of your position in the marketplace. So, do a SWOT and give your Hospital a SHOT!