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As Entrepreneurs Do We SWAT Or SOAR?

Kuel Life Featured Images December 2021

Career Kuel Category Expert: Gayle Petrillo

This is very different focus for me this month.

However, I recently attended a zoom mastermind and found it helped me out and so I thought I’d share.

I’ll start with an assumption that we’ve all heard of the SWOT Analysis. The SWOT analysis focuses on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of an organization.

“The SWOT analysis focuses on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of an organization.”

It is considered a top-down approach. According to the Harvard Business Review, one drawback of a SWOT analysis is that it can oversimplify the type and extent of the current status of an organization while underestimating or even ignoring other company situations and it may lack objectivity.


The SOAR analysis engages employees at all levels of an organization. SOAR focuses on Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results. It’s thought to be a more positive approach than the traditional SWOT process. Other definitions for this approach may include Security, Orchestration, Automation and Response and relate more to a specific industry, such as software or product development.

Both are strategic planning techniques helpful to entrepreneurs, as well as businesses large and small.

SOAR focuses on what is known to work and looks to a vision for the future rather than weaknesses or threats which can detract from making progress because leaders can get stymied by things out of their control.

SOAR is a more dynamic approach to organizational analysis and learning. It lends itself to more creativity.

“Through such an analysis, you may be better able to understand which areas of your business require more focus.”

Helpful As An Evaluation:

So why this discussion? As entrepreneurs, regardless of what stage your business is in (infancy to maturity), either methodology is helpful as an evaluation tool to help determine how to move your business into a position to reach your goals. Through such an analysis, you may be better able to understand which areas of your business require more focus.

Entrepreneurs must never standstill. Similarly, we must constantly evolve with the times and stay connected to trends. A SWOT or SOAR analysis may help us with strategic thinking, leading to successful planning skills.

Not to make this more complicated, but a SMART analysis is another instrument to assist the entrepreneur to establish successful goals as we look at every element of our business. In addition, the acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time. It is useful to use a SMART analysis along with one of the previously mentioned analysis, SWOT or SOAR.

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About the Author:

Gayle Petrillo is President of First Impressions, Image Consulting. Gayle is an image consultant working with both businesses and individuals. Her services include: customer service training; team building skills; secret shopper services; gossip avoidance techniques; closet analysis; wardrobe transformations, personal shopping; employment coaching; and presentation skills.