This chapter from "Managing the Double Bottom Line" introduces strategic frameworks and how they can help you analyze your social enterprise relative to your operating environment, industry, and competition. The information gathered in this section will enable you to ascertain its comparative advantages and subsequently craft your business strategies.
The first strategic framework presented in this chapter is called a SWOT analysis, SWOT being an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is an analytical tool that helps managers build strategies that emphasize the strengths of a social enterprise and the opportunities available in the operating environment and diminish the weaknesses of the enterprise and the risks of potential threats.
The second, an industry analysis, examines factors and trends in the industry that may impede the viability of a social enterprise.
The final framework is a competitive analysis, which evaluates the intentions, actions, products or services, and market position of competitors.
Strategic frameworks analyze both the firm and the environment. These analyses should be conducted as part of market research prior to selecting an industry or deciding on a social enterprise and as part of ongoing strategic planning once you have launched your enterprise.