In Part 5 and 6, we explored the SWOT analysis, its advantages, and why it is beneficial for entrepreneurs to use.

In today´s blog post (Part 7), I will share a related tool, the TOWS matrix.

It will help you to look at your company from different perspectives so you can develop new strategic options for your company.

Overview

  • What is the difference between the SWOT analysis and the TOWS matrix?
  • How to identify new strategic options
  • What are the options you could pursue?
  • How to use the TOWS Matrix
    • Step 1: Write down your findings
    • Step 2: How to create a strategic option for your business?
  • Summary

What is the difference between the SWOT analysis and the TOWS matrix?

The TOWS Matrix is a variation of the classic SWOT analysis. The main difference is that SWOT emphasizes the internal environment while TOWS emphasizes the external environment.

How to identify new strategic options

Both tools help you to get a better understanding of the strategic choices you can make. Now, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can I make the most of my strengths?
  • How can I diminish the power of my weaknesses?
  • How can I use the opportunities to my advantage?
  • How can I manage the threats better?

What are the options you could pursue?

Use the TOWS Matrix developed by Heinz Weihrich, Ph.D. to match external opportunities and threats with your internal strengths and weaknesses.

External         Opportunities External                     Threats
Internal Strengths

Strengths-Opportunities (SO)

Strengths – Threats (ST)

Internal Weaknesses

Weakness – Opportunities (WO)

Weakness –Threats (WT)

How to use the TOWS matrix

Step 1: Write down your findings

This helps you to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, as well as to identify the opportunities and threats that you should be looking at.

Step 2: How to create a strategic option for your business?

For each combination of internal and external environmental factors, you can use them to create the best strategic option by asking the following questions:

  • How can I use my strengths to take advantage of the opportunities (SO – Matrix)?
  • How can I take advantage of my strengths to avoid real and potential threats (ST-Matrix)?
  • How can you use opportunities to overcome the weaknesses I am experiencing (WO-Matrix)?
  • How can you minimize your weaknesses and avoid threats (WT-Matrix)?

The WT quadrant creates a defensive strategy and will help you to protect yourself from any loss.

Now design a matrix that matches your individual strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats combinations. To do this, construct a matrix for each quadrant (SO, ST, WO, and WT).

SO Matrix Strengths 1 Strengths 2 Strengths 3
Opportunity 1
Opportunity 2
Opportunity 3
ST Matrix Strengths 1 Strengths 2 Strengths 3
Threats 1
Threats 2
Threats 3
WO Matrix Weakness 1 Weakness 2 Weakness 3
Opportunity 1
Opportunity 2
Opportunity 3
WT Matrix Weakness 1 Weakness 2 Weakness 3
       
Threats 1      
Threats 2      
Threats 3      

Summary

  • Key Point #1: The TOWS matrix helps to match external opportunities and threats with your internal strengths and weaknesses.
  • Key Point #2: Supports the identification of new strategic options.
  • Key Point #3: Gives clarity on which strategy to use.

Supporting you

I´m available to support you through this difficult time by re-imagine your business. A TOWS matrix is a good starting point to identify the best possible strategy for your business.

I will work with you and your leadership team to analyze the company´s core strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. We will develop a tailored action plan (roadmap) to help you implement your goals. The aim is to get your business running at its peak performance.

Contact me for a complimentary 30-minute strategy session:

https://nextlevelcoach.as.me/schedule.php

Coming up next month…

In my next blog post, I’ll share how to use the PESTLE tool.

Stay tuned!

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