How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis of a Business

You might wonder why your business would need a SWOT analysis. Just the name of it sounds far too serious for a business. However, if you believe it is nothing but a useless exercise, you are far from right. The size or scope of your business doesn’t matter, you will find the same working components in every enterprise. Thus, routinely conducting SWOT analysis of a business will provide incredible value. How? Well, before going any further, let’s make sure we are on the same page about SWOT analysis.

What is SWOT Analysis?

It may sound like something complicated, but it is quite simple. Using a SWOT analysis, you can assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats your business faces. Conducting a SWOT analysis of a business is just like a regular health check-up. In the diagnostics of those check-ups, you will be able to identify the positives and negatives your business faces at that specific time. Strengths and weaknesses are internal areas which you have control over, whereas, opportunities and threats are the outside forces that could harm or benefit your business.

Why Should a SWOT Analysis Be Done?

Why shouldn’t it? This useful tool is designed to provide any business a crystal-clear picture about its current position. Laying out the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats will also provide you the insight you need to create a suitable business plan. SWOT analysis of a business will not only give you the information necessary to evaluate your current business state, but will also help you to take measures to drive your business to its full potential. Hence, this is a major reason why SWOT analysis should be given the same importance as any other business strategy.

How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis?

  1. Prepare a table by separating the positive factors, which are strengths and opportunities, from the negative factors, weaknesses and threats.
  2. Fill it in according to the particular purpose of your SWOT analysis.
  3. Once you have completed the table with precise data, analyze it to build necessary strategies that will drive your business to its full potential and make it more competitive.

This may not be the same way they teach SWOT analysis in MBA classes, but it is good enough to get you started. A business will have both good and bad aspects. However, your job is to sit and start making a list, filling it with the necessary information. By doing so, you will open doors to different opportunities or approaches to marketing you might have missed out on before. In short, a SWOT analysis of a business will enable you to see strengths so you can use them to your advantages, spot weaknesses so you can rectify them, visualize opportunities that await you, and prepare for the potential threats you face.

Here is a SWOT example to help you:

Internal Factors

Strengths:

  • Brand awareness
  • Strong customer base
  • Unique technology or products

Weaknesses:

  • Low profits
  • Fall in sales
  • Disorganized interior processes

External Factors

Opportunities:

  • Lower taxes
  • Positive working environment
  • Advanced technology

Threats:

  • Increase in competition
  • Frequent changes in government policies
  • Change in customer tastes
  • Customer dissatisfaction

So, as you can see, SWOT analysis of a business can prove to be really beneficial when used by businesses. It doesn’t matter what size or scope, every business needs one.

Image: Mikko Lemola/Shutterstock.com

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