If you do not know what a SWOT analysis is, don’t worry. This blog is going to cover it!
Some may say that conducting a SWOT analysis is hard and not a lot of fun. This is where I tend to disagree. When I was in college, this was one of my favorite tools to talk about in my marketing classes. It is a fantastic tool that can be utilized for any type of organization, campaign or event that doesn’t take up much time and holds a lot of value.
SWOT stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors and Opportunities and Threats are external factors. Strengths and Opportunities are positive factors, Weaknesses and Threats are negative factors. So why do one? Why is it important.
Performing a SWOT analysis helps an organization understand their business by presenting a viewpoint of the company’s overall operations from a different perspective. For new businesses this analysis is critical to the businesses planning process and can be conducted at any time. For existing businesses it can help put the business on the right track.
A SWOT analysis can be used for many things such as: marketing campaigns, exciting product launch events, or even expanding your business to another location. The important thing to remember is to always be honest when conducting your analysis. In order for any business to be successful, you must always take a moment and reflect on the good and the bad and see where opportunities and weaknesses are.
Now that we have an understanding of why a SWOT analysis is important, let’s go over the factors.
The first thing you want to do is go over your strengths (internal factor). Examples could include strengths relating to company online presence, staff, business location, financial resources or even your overall brand.
Now comes the hard part, *gulp* your weaknesses (internal factor). List things about your business that you consider to be a weakness. Weaknesses can be lack of staff, declining market, clients or location of the business. When reviewing your SWOT analysis always address the weaknesses as it can indicate the future of your business and where it will stand.
Now that we have gone over the internal factors of the the analysis let’s discuss the external.
This is where your brainstorming and creativity can come into play. Think about the possible external opportunities for your business. Review your market, are there any opportunities that have not been discovered? It’s like playing chess, you want to always be looking ahead for any opportunities that can take your business to the next level. Perhaps reviewing consumer trends and maximizing on that. The possibilities could be endless!
Ah, threats. Disconcerting I know and that is why it is another very important aspect of the SWOT analysis.Think of it this way: Threats are like opportunities in that you cannot change their frequency, or purposefully bring them about, but you can still choose how to approach them and deal with them.
Once you have completed your analysis, review the 4 prioritized lists and ask yourself:
- How can we change our weaknesses to strengths
- What can we do to overcome the threats
- How can we utilize our strengths to take advantage of the opportunities presented
Doing a SWOT analysis and reviewing your list will help you in developing strategies for achieving your business goals!