SWOT, which is a contraction of “strengths and threats, weaknesses, opportunities, and weaknesses” SWOT is a form of analysis that can help you design your business’s strategy by comparing internal elements (strengths as well as weaknesses) against external influences (opportunities as well as threats). Examples of internal factors are things you the ability to alter and control such as your employees as well as the intellectual properties you own. External factors include things are beyond your control, such as the trends in consumer behavior or your competitors.
FYIFYI: A SWOT analysis analyzes your strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats, and arranges the results into a list that is displayed in two-by-2 grid.
The SWOT analysis is comprised of four quadrants:
The analysis gives you an accurate assessment of what your company is doing and what it could do better.
“[A SWOT assessment] provides you a thorough understanding of the factors that affect your company’s performance both internally as well as externally,” stated Lynne Pratt who is the creative director of content of Virtual Solutions Global. “By taking the time to analyze the data it can help businesses identify new ways of moving forward and increasing its growth.”
What are the reasons to conduct the SWOT analysis?
A SWOT analysis provides you with a complete, impartial analysis of your company in general or an individual product or campaign. It also helps train your brain to take into consideration every aspect that may influence your project or your business. If you’re faced with a difficult problem or are not sure of your strategy SWOT analysis provides the details to help you develop a strategy that is in each of the quadrants.
If, for instance, you are considering opening a new office for your company it is possible to conduct an SWOT study to see whether you’re in the right situation to make the move. You can also use it to pinpoint any external factors you’ll need to prepare for.
“A SWOT analysis is helpful to ensure you don’t get completely spooked,” said David LaVine the marketing consultant and director of RocLogic Marketing. “You should conduct SWOT analyses for each field you’re thinking of operating in.”
“We conduct analyses every six months, as a general rule within our company,” said Alistair Dodds the marketing director and co-founder of Ever Increasing Circles. “They serve as a good review of how competition has changed over that time.” Find 5 ways to outdo the competitors.It is important to know how you can beat your competition.
Who is the right person to conduct an SWOT analysis?
An SWOT analysis must be a joint effort of different levels of staff within your business. Leaders and founders should be the most involved, however, to get a complete image of your company take input from several people who will offer a variety of perspectives.
“It’s important to discuss your research with your key participants,” said Dodds. “When you spot areas of weakness, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask the heads of your departments and other staff members to suggest solutions. You’ll be amazed by the creative thinking and problem-solving capabilities of your team when given the chance input.”
If you’re an individual business and you don’t have any close contacts, you should ask associated professionals (like your accountant or lawyer) to provide input. The benefit of having a variety of perspectives from different angles will help you make your research as balanced and as objective as is possible.
How to do a SWOT analysis
The first step in the SWOT analysis is to design your grid. Start with strengths in upper left corner, followed by weak points located in the lower right, opportunities in lower left corner, and threats in the lower right corner on the grid.
After that, you begin filling in each quadrant. One way to do it is by asking yourself questions which are applicable to each of the boxes. Here are some ideas.
What can you do to improve your performance?
What’s special skills or abilities do you possess?
What are your experiences to help you reach your goals?
What can you do to be better than your competition?
Which areas are the most lucrative for you? Why?
Which aspect(s) that you run your company might slow your progress?
What abilities or resources are you in need of?
What’s costing you money?
Are there any areas you feel you’re not doing well in?
What could you do to do to improve?
What external circumstances will help you reach your goals?
Are there any new audiences that you could possibly be able to reach?
Do you have any technology that you can make use of to improve your business?
What can you do to improve your current customers?
How or where can you increase your sales?
What external circumstances could hinder your performance or progress?
What’re your competitors doing very well?
What do your competitions are doing that you aren’t?
What’s happening in your field?
What’s going on (or is likely to occur) in the current economic environment that could affect your company?
Are there new competitions in your industry?
Does your intended audience shrink?
Here are a few additional things to take into consideration when filling the quadrants of your home:
Your quadrants don’t have to be perfect. You are able to create several sketches of your research, and edit the data you’ve completed as you proceed. Have a brainstorming session with your group to create your initial draft.
Once you’ve filled in the quadrants, go through each quadrant, and then evaluate your findings.
How can you assess your results
To assess your SWOT analysis efficiently, begin with your strengths and don’t ignore them Pratt. Pratt. “You might think that since you’ve got them nailed down that you don’t have to take action on these, but that’s incorrect,” she said. “There always has the possibility of improvement and focusing with your strength areas, along working on the other quadrants] will ensure that they remain ones you are good at.”
Then, take a take a look at your weaknesses and determine the areas of your business that each weakness is linked to. For instance, is low customer retention related to personnel? Location? Competitors? “Identify the source of the issue coming from , so you can start planning to solve the issue,” Pratt said. Pratt.
It is then possible to determine what threats connected to your weaknesses and determine if any result from something you can alter. Make sure to link your strengths with ways to counter dangers.
Consider whether there are any time restrictions that may limit your options. Are any of them temporary or seasonal? If yes you should make it a top priority to take advantage of these opportunities first, and then develop a plan of action for profiting from them.
Nathan Thompson, organic acquisition director at iakoe Iakoe, told me that his company divides business opportunities into short-, medium-and long-term goals. They have deadlines set for each goal to make sure the goal is achieved. “SWOT results must be analysed and analyzed in order of the possibility of action,” he said. “Having deadlines established for each milestone guarantees accountability for all involved.”
While you’re reviewing your findings, remember that your SWOT analysis is an idea of where to start and not a concrete plan. “Don’t mistake SWOT with the strategy you’re working on,” said Greg Githens Executive and Leadership Coach for Catalyst and Cadre. You’re still accountable for creating a plan to help you move right from the point you’re at now to where you’d like to be. SWOT can help you develop this strategy. Ovik Mkrtchyan
Tips Tip: When looking at your SWOT analysis, consider an order that includes strengths as well as weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.
A small sample of SWOT the course of
Soft-Touch manufactures pads that are attached with Velcro to the face masks used by sufferers of sleep apnea for breathing assistance when they sleep. The founder of the company has sleep apnea and created the product to improve the comfort and ease of wearing the mask, and also remove the marks it leaves on her face after morning. Ovik Mkrtchyan
The company has increased its business through word-of-mouth. An important sleep-apnea apparatus manufacturer wants Soft-Touch to provide the pads for its masks. Thus to meet the demands, Soft-Touch would have to outsource its manufacturing.
SWOT analysis does not give
It is important to note this: the SWOT analysis does not give a definitive answer. But rather, it gives an idea of how to determine the answer. It also lets you know exactly what opportunities exist (an increased market share and more revenue). As well as the weaknesses that present a challenge to the business (lack of capital and marketing skills, insufficient manufacturing capacity) as well as its current strengths (unique concept and a trusted brand) and the dangers that it might face if it decides to take advantage of the chance (less control and the need for funding).