26 August 2019
Many individuals and organizations seek to understand the factors that might affect their business, as well as how to grow as a company that is able to intricately track present and future progress.
This is where a SWOT analysis comes in.
SWOT, an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, is an analysis that both successful and start-up businesses use to examine the progress of their company.
The Strengths and Weaknesses of a SWOT analysis deals with the internal power of a company. This means that all information under Strengths and Weaknesses can be controlled by the company.
The Opportunities and Threats of a SWOT analysis tackle the external factors that directly affect internal resources and are out of the company’s control. External factors like changes in trends or culture, competitors’ prices or the audience attitudes toward your business cannot be controlled.
Strengths is where the company lists their outstanding qualities. These qualities can range from employee diversity and customer service to the effectiveness of a product. With this category, a business can examine where their high points lie and how to maintain or increase those qualities.
Anything listed under the category of Strengths answers the question: What does the company do well?
Weakness, as you might have asked, is where the business lists areas in which they lack or need improvement. These areas need greater focus when it comes to internally transforming the business. They also give the company insight on where to reconstruct based on negative external factors.
Weaknesses answers the question: What can the company do better?
Opportunities is the category with which the business examines external chances where they can strengthen their weakness and expand their strengths. Though out of your control, opportunities for growth can be found in cultural trends, marketing tactics, new vendors or outreach events.
Opportunities answers the question: What are some changes you foresee that might affect your business?
Threats is the category that businesses should vigilantly seek to work through. Threats can come from competitors, audience attitudes toward your business, consumer trends etc. As your business grows, you might realize that threats are inevitable. However, in the same way you aim to improve your business, so should you aim to consistently eliminate threats.
With a thorough SWOT analysis, you might even be able to stay steps ahead of potential threats.
Threats answers the question: What are your most evident challenges?
A SWOT analysis is not a quick fix to improve your business, nor will it contain a one-size-fits-all solution. What a SWOT analysis will do is lay out and bring to the forefront the positive characteristics of your business as well as the aspects that need an upgrade.
It is important to periodically conduct SWOT analyses so that there is cohesiveness across the brand as to how to move forward. If the only way up is through, then you will need SWOT.
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