One of the things that the AwayTeam staff did as the company went through rebranding and regrouping was a SWOT analysis. Despite the business being comprised of remote workers, we knew this was something that needed to be done before we could relaunch.
The executive team in Australia flew to the Philippines, to Bacolod where the majority of the staff is based. While we gathered together in a place that’s free from distractions, we also involved the rest of the team, simultaneously conducting the process online as well.
It was truly an eye-opening experience for all of us. We saw not only how much improvement we’ve made since we started, but also the weak spots that when left untreated, could lead to the failure of our business model.
There were some areas that have been ignored since the company was established and if we had not conducted this process, we may not even exist today.
From then on, we have operated and made decisions with the results from the SWOT analysis in the back of our minds. It’s been such a valuable process for us, and online teams and even traditional office-based companies can benefit from conducting it themselves. It’s not just some fancy marketing acronym or jargon - it’s actually a system that works.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This is a great assessment tool that allows you to pinpoint where your business is at the current moment in terms of successes, and what necessary processes, steps and tools you need to provide solutions for issues in the business.
It helps you see how much improvement you’ve made, and the weak spots that when left untreated, could lead to the failure of your company. And when you operate and make decisions with the results of the SWOT analysis in the back of your minds, it can lead to changes that can make or break your company.
You don’t have to be physically with each other in order to successfully do this process. With the availability of advanced technology, there’s really no excuse for your online workers to not be involved.
Take advantage of software like Zoom, Hangouts or Skype that allow you to have video conference calls. You can also easily share your screen when it’s your turn to present your findings to the team. In particular, Zoom lets you use its digital whiteboard, perfect for brainstorming and mind-mapping sessions that can often happen during the process.
Ask your team to be brutally honest (but also keeping in mind kindness) when giving their answers and opinions. Many online workers, and in particular Filipinos, may feel a bit afraid of airing out their insights, especially when they’re negative and said in the presence of their immediate supervisors.
Give them the assurance that their comments won’t be taken against them, especially if they’re not on the positive side. Keep an open mind and don’t be quick to defend each point raised. Take notes and highlight which ones can provide the most value.
Additionally, these sessions are not the time and place to air out any long-standing grievances you may have with your company. Remember, be objective and not let your biases get in the way. Your comments and insights must be said because you want to help bring the business to success, not potentially burn any bridges with your colleagues and staff.
The most important roles in a SWOT analysis are not only those who are part of the leadership or executive team. Everyone in the company, no matter what position they hold, can contribute vital information that will be key to success moving forward.
More often than not, some issues that will be raised may be things that coworkers in other departments, or even the leadership, have not noticed before. They may also have insights that can contribute greatly to your plans and strategies moving forward.
We recommend conducting a SWOT analysis every 12 months, in particular whenever a new year begins in your company. When done effectively, it can make such a huge difference in the way you run your business moving forward.
Are you doing this process already within your own business? Let us know of any more tips and secrets to an effective SWOT analysis!