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SWOT Action

bullseyeThe lead article in Sunday’s Star Tribune Business Section was entitled, “Target Sets Bull’s-Eye on Showrooming.” The article stated that Target will be “amping up customer service in key product areas like beauty.”

I am sure a very simple process has transpired over the last few months by strategists of Target. They have identified “Showrooming” as a threat to their business model and have turned this “Threat” into an “Opportunity” for their stores. During the process, 1) they embraced the “SWOT,” 2) they addressed this particular threat to their business, and 3) they took action, working on a re-refresh execution plan to offset the effect of Showrooming.

Élanstrategic is dedicated to the planning process for itself and its clients. Part of the planning process which we have all participants go through every year is the SWOT – an exercise defining the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the company or individual.  While we routinely conduct this exercise every year, it could be done more often if the exterior or interior events require additional review.  Evaluating all four SWOT categories helps you define your goals and discover ways to be proactive, in particular, with the “OPPORTUNITIES” that present themselves.  The question many ask, during this process, is “What do I do with these after they are identified?”  The old cliché is that you build on your Strengths, correct your Weaknesses, take advantage of your Opportunities and “block out” (be defensive against) the Threats.

In the same way that Target strategists set a bull’s eye on the potential threat of showrooming, you must be proactive in taking advantage of your company’s STRENGTHS to overcome the THREATS to your business. Management must move with dispatch to develop an updated execution plan which takes advantage of the changes affecting your SWOT, and use them to create success.  Target is a great role model for us to follow; this is definitely a SWOT in Action!