What is a SWOT analysis & How To Use It in a Construction Company
By Scotti Ian Ogden
Owner of Ogden Contracting LTD
In the face of an obstacle, use a SWOT analysis to identify possibilities from every angle.
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method that helps your company address obstacles and identify prospective growth avenues. “SWOT” stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is best used prior to making significant decisions for your company.
What is the objective of a SWOT analysis for a Construction company?
The objective of a SWOT analysis is to look at multiple angles of challenging situations. The process allows you to look at the situation from an external and internal perspective.
Business owners, especially those of us in construction who typically have not attended any professional business education, may view obstacles through a narrow lens; the SWOT analysis assists you in viewing the obstacle more broadly, exploring all possibilities, including positive opportunities.
I learnt how to do a SWOT analysis through Breakthrough Academy. I highly recommend business owners in the construction industry to continue their education and business development through programs like these.
What are the 4 Pillars of a SWOT analysis?
The 4 pillars of the SWOT analysis are:
- Strengths (helpful, internal factor)
- Weakness (harmful, internal factor)
- Opportunities (helpful, external factor)
- Threats (harmful, external factor)
Firstly, I’ll note that the 4 pillars of the SWOT analysis are organized into two categories; internal and external factors.
Internal and External Factors of a SWOT analysis
The internal factors include strengths (S) and weakness (W). These are the existing factors that are readily available to you.
For construction companies, this may include things like:
- Level of experience or education
- Quality of work
- Company values
- Consumer service
- Current processes
- Financial organization
- Communication skills
- Turn around time
- Employees / training / onboarding
- Organizational skills
- Job size
External factors include opportunities (O) and Threats (T).
These factors can either be directly or indirectly connected to your company. They are usually out of your control, and serve as forces that affect particular outcomes. For construction companies, this may include things like:
- New hires
- New marketing opportunities
- Upcoming jobs
- Market trends
- Economic trends
- Demographics / clients
- Regulations in the construction industry
- Client satisfaction
How Do You Create a SWOT Analysis in a Construction Company
Get a large white board for your office space or to keep in your truck for on-site meetings. Make SWOT analysis a team building activity. Working through the SWOT analysis with staff ensures everyone is on the same page, sharing a common goal.
1. Organize a meeting with your team
If you have a large team who usually meets on-site; consider renting a meeting room for a few hours once a month. This allows your staff to meet in a professional space where they can focus clearly on company goals. We like to rent a room through CoWorks by Elevate.
2. Set up the quadrants like the example given (on a whiteboard)
3. Start with your strengths: ask your team questions like…
- Why do our customers love our work?
- What’s unique about our company/work?
- What are our most positive attributes?
4. Next, think of your weaknesses: ask your team questions like…
- What complaints have we had recently?
- What turns customers away?
- What could we do better as a company?
5. Brainstorm possible opportunities
6. Work with your team to identity possible threats
7. Organize the information into a dated document
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