The SWOT analysis is a workhorse for planning risk management at the strategic level. When performing a SWOT analysis with a team of founders or leaders, it is very common to forget the main benefactor of your company’s activities: the customer.
Think about this: what influences how much your most important customer trusts you? Subquestions that may never be articulated but that can fuel distrust if they are not answered through the firm’s communication include:
- Can I trust them with the data they receive about me?
- Are they harming the environment?
- How do they treat their employees? How do they treat me?
- Do they cooperate with crooks and criminals?
- If something bad happens that can get back to me, will they tell me?
- Do they like me?
- Do I like them enough to give them my money?
Consider the effect of the customer participating in your SWOT, asking these questions when your team is discussing for example internal strengths. Would that change your focus? How about weaknesses? Would the questions from the customer affect your discussions on external factors, such as threats and opportunities?