is a method whereby you analyze your strengths and weaknesses and what opportunity and threats that represent. In the work environment, it can be used for assessing the strength, the weak points, opportunity and what will threaten the business. It is a step in the analyzing phase which hopefully will help you to
1. Realize what the strengths are and then use that information to build a stronger business
2. Determine what the weak points are and you might be able to lessen these points.
3. Take advantage of the opportunities that are presented but
4. Acknowledge the threats and prepare for them in a planned manner
A SWOT analysis is not the final steps but a means which actions can be put in place for the business planning.
Doing SWOT analyses benefits you to get a perspective from other peers, discussions and be realistic about the true situation and focus on that.
If you are new to doing a SWOT analysis you need to make notes under the 4 topics and the next questions may help to prompt your thinking.
By doing a SWOT analysis it helps you to identify and lessen the effects of any weak points and at the same token to build on the strengths.
The ideal situation will be that you will be able to match the strong points to the opportunities that are available which are a result of the competitor's weak points and any voids that have been left.
Simple SWOT Analyses
You can formulate a basic SWOT analysis through using the personnel at work and doing some brainstorming sessions or on your own if you are running a small business. Start by making four grids which represent the four topics.
Put some thought into what the company is good at. What are the features that give you the edge over the competitors? What advantage you have that other businesses do not.
● Which strengths do you have
● What is done well by the company
● What part of the business do you do well
● Which records are positive and have good results
● What do the competitors think are the company's strong points
● Which part of the business does the company compete well with?
Where is the company struggling, which are the major complaints from your customers and which needs that are listed by the sales team are not met?
● What area needs developing
● Where can improvements be made
● Where is there any loss of efficiency
● Which part of the business is being done very badly
● Which functions are the competitors better at
● What functions do you need to avoid doing
Try to find places where you can use your strengths. Are there any new trends that will fit into the company strong points? Are there products or services that you have not started competing with but could do well in.
● What are the possibilities
● What are the trends and how will it effect the next few years
● What are the 5-year plan and goals
● Would you like to work with another company
● What type of situation will create benefits for both companies
● Will there be any effect on the company from new technology
● What other factors can benefit the company in the near future. These could be finances. Government related, or any other changes.
You need to assess the factors within the company as well as outside which could impact the business negatively. Within the company, you might require extra finances, product development or other threats. Outside are your sales being reduced by stronger competitor actions and are there any trends that are exposing your weak point more and also take into consideration other threats.
● What is barring you from improving
● Which obstacles are hindering progress
● Who might take over from you or business
● What are the competitors doing
● Are you able to find solutions short-term as well as long-term
● Will there be changes in your role with new technology or development
● Is there any change about to happen.
In Depth SWOT Analyses
Doing SWOT analyses in greater depth can help you better understand how well the company is doing competitively. A way to do this is to have a more detailed and in-depth information about your competitor's performance to analyze.
Using the internet is a good way to search for criteria such as participation in trade organizations and a number of outside links to the various webpages. This type of information will help you to identify possible threats and more importantly opportunities for the company.
Do a thorough analysis of the business trends. Sometimes an opportunity can come about through the changing business environments.
Listed are some tips what to look for:
● There is a new development where the demands are higher than the supply of superior alternatives. As an example of this is when there was the trend to eat healthier but also required nice tasting food there was a shortage of free range food options.
● A customer niche is more dominant but they are unable to have their specific requirements satisfied by the rival companies. This was apparent with the Hispanic population in America in the 10 years from 90 to 2000.
● There could be a situation where one of your customers, competitors or suppliers are partnered with another company or they have gone out of business. This is a situation with a lot of dot - com companies and as each one closed down they left a void in supply and customers requiring goods presenting an opportunity for you.
You can help getting a better SWOT analysis by doing a survey of certain aspects. This will educate you on how well your company as well the competitions are doing. These can include; 1) how aware the customers are, how high the interest is and the levels of use; 2) the brand, company image, and the website; 3) how important the different sites and product features are to the customer; 4) how well the product and website performs.
Whichever SWOT analyses you use basic or advanced you will have new ideas and awareness. Use them to improve the company's strengths and use it to formulate your business and marketing plans.