In uncertain times like these, veterinary practices, like other businesses, look for ways to regain control of their operations.
Many practice leaders turn to strategic planning, a process that is designed to help business owners better understand their current situation, set goals for where they want to go, make realistic plans to get there, and regain control.
Strategic planning is an effective process that can jumpstart a stalled practice, turn around a failing one, and help keep a healthy practice strong, but it is only as good as its parts. Poor use of the strategic planning process can waste time and result in a poor outcome.
In my 9 years as a practice consultant, one of the common strategic planning steps that I’ve seen go wrong is the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. This article suggests methods to ensure that the SWOT analysis is used properly to educate team members about the practice, create focus and alignment for action, and stimulate strategic, creative solutions to achieve practice goals.
What is SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis (see Table 1) is a tool for sorting and analyzing information to help practice owners and team members understand their current situation inside and out. It is a way of collecting and organizing information and data into helpful categories that the team can use to set priorities, develop strategies, and make informed decisions for the health of the practice.
Table 1. SWOT Analysis