S.W.O.T Analysis: Why You Need One And How You Should Use It

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hat Is A S.W.O.T. Analysis?

No, a S.W.O.T. Analysis has nothing to do with how hard you can hit something. It has everything to do with analyzing your business. Investopedia defines S.W.O.T. Analysis as a framework used to evaluate a company's competitive position. It also helps a company to develop a strong strategic plan. Each letter stands for:

  • S = Strengths 
  • W = Weaknesses
  • O = Opportunities
  • T = Threats

In this blog, we’ll talk about each letter and how you can use it to analyze your business. We’ll also talk about what to do after your S.W.O.T. Analysis is complete.

Strengths

Strengths are all the things that your company excels at. These are the things that separate you from your competition. Some examples of Strengths are: having beautiful branding, having a loyal following, providing rapid order delivery, and providing exceptional customer service. 

When trying to figure out your strengths here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is our competitive advantage?
  • What resources do we have?
  • What products are performing well?

Weaknesses

Weaknesses are things that may hold your business back from performing at its best. Some examples of possible weaknesses are, having a high amount of debt, having low customer satisfaction, having a high amount of returns/refunds, having little to no capital.

When trying to figure out your weaknesses ask yourself these questions:

  • Where can we improve?
  • What products are underperforming?
  • Where are we lacking resources?

Opportunities

Opportunities are things that your business can capitalize on to give it a competitive advantage. Some examples of opportunities are new technology being introduced, moving into a new market, obtaining a business grant.

When trying to figure out your opportunities ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can we expand our core operations?
  • What new market segments can we explore?
  • What new systems can we implement to streamline our process even more?

Threats

Threats are things that can bring harm to your business. Some examples of threats are, change in consumer trends, cost of materials rising, an influx of competition in your market.

When trying to figure out your threats ask yourself the following questions:

  • What new regulations threaten operations?
  • What do our competitors do well?
  • What consumer trends threaten business?

What Do You Do Next?

After organizing your S.W.O.T. Analysis (lucky for you our FREE template will help you do this) it’s time to turn your research into action. But how exactly? We’re so glad you asked or else this next part of the blog would’ve been a complete waste of time!

Do This:

  • Strengths-Opportunities: Use your internal strengths to capitalize on your opportunities.
  • Strengths-Threats: Use your strengths to minimize threats.
  • Weaknesses-Opportunities: Improve your weaknesses by taking advantage of opportunities.
  • Weaknesses-Threats: Rid your business of weaknesses to help you avoid threats.

By taking your business through a S.W.O.T. Analysis not only will you be able to develop a strong strategic plan, but your focus will also improve. There will be no more “shiny object” syndrome where you find yourself changing directions constantly. 

If you have a team, you will have total team alignment where everyone is working towards the same goals. Who doesn’t love that?!

You’ll also maybe discover unknown aspects of your business. You may discover new and creative opportunities you didn’t even know where possible.

To Sum It All Up 

A S.W.O.T. Analysis is a great tool to help you develop a strong strategic plan for your business. When you take your business through a S.W.O.T. Analysis you assess its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. After completing the Analysis you use your strengths to capitalize on opportunities and minimize threats. You improve your weaknesses to help you take advantage of opportunities and you eliminate weaknesses to help your business avoid threats.

ACTION STEP: Download our FREE S.W.O.T. Analysis template below to help you analyze your business and develop a strong strategic plan!

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