Doing a SWOT analysis may seem easy. You just need to list down the strengths and weaknesses that your firm has. You also identify the possible opportunities and the threats. But what are the things which classify as strengths and weaknesses? What scenarios can be called a threat? Which one is an opportunity for the business? To do all these, you need to ask the right SWOT analysis questions.
SWOT is an acronym for; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. So in order to classify factors under these four categories you need to ask several SWOT analysis questions. Not just any questions. You have to ask good SWOT analysis questions which are all related to your business. These questions will differ from business to business. However, some of the questions are pretty much the same. Let us take a look at some of the common SWOT analysis questions.
The strength of a business comes from the internal factors. These are things which you have full control over. Things like resources, skilled labors, investment, machineries and so on. In other words, these are the things that the company does well. So you need to ask certain questions to make sure you get all the strengths listed down. Frequent SWOT analysis questions regarding strength include;
Frequent SWOT analysis questions regarding strength include;
- What are your assets?
- Which one of those assets is the strongest?
- What makes you better than your competitors?
- Do you have a strong customer base?
- What is the unique thing about your company?
- How skilled are your labors?
- What are the things that other people say you do well?
- Do you have experience in this task (mission) before?
- What are the advantages you have over your rivals?
Just like the strengths of a business, the weaknesses are also an internal factor. These things are also under your control. Instead of helping your business, these things will hinder your progress. They prevent you from working at your optimum level. If a competitor knows about your weaknesses, then they are likely to base their strategy based on your weaknesses. The weaknesses are areas you can look to improve upon. These are the SWOT analysis questions that one must ask to find the weaknesses;
These are the SWOT analysis questions that one must ask to find the weaknesses;
- What areas do you need improvement on?
- What are the things you need to avoid?
- What areas do your competitors have an advantage on?
- Are you lacking in knowledge?
- Are your employees not skilled enough?
- Do you have enough investment to start such a project?
- Is your customer base too low?
- Are you making enough profit?
- Is your competitor running miles ahead of you?
Opportunities fall into the external factors. These are basically the situations which the company can take advantage of. You cannot control such factors. But you have to take the opportunity when the situation arises. Opportunities can come in the form of trends, change in taste, economic factors and so on. One has to be very good at spotting such opportunities.
For that, you need to ask these following SWOT analysis questions which deal with opportunities:
- What external changes will bring your opportunities?
- What are the current ongoing trends?
- Will these trends affect you in a positive manner?
- Can you take advantage of the local market?
- What is the market missing?
- Can you provide that missing link for the consumers?
- Is your rival company failing to satisfy their customer base?
- If so, can you steal their customers?
- Will natural causes like weather and climatic changes give you the competitive edge?
- Is your brand name helping you to get finance easier?
Threats are also external factors. Just like opportunities, threats are also beyond your control. These factors are going to prevent you from making the most use of your resources. Your marketing strategy will fail due to such reasons. Threats are basically situations that you need to avoid. If you can’t avoid it, you will at least look to minimize its effects. The following SWOT analysis questions are asked to identify the possible threats.
The following SWOT analysis questions are asked to identify the possible threats.
- What are the negative aspects in the current market?
- Are there potential competitors who can give you a competition in the future?
- What are the obstacles you are facing in the current mission?
- Have you done anything which may lead to a possible lawsuit?
- Are your key staff members satisfied with their wages and other benefits?
- Do you see them being poached by your rivals?
- Do you see a change in consumer taste?
- Are the government regulations going to affect you?
- What are the chances of a natural disaster affecting your production?
- Will political instability hurt you?
SWOT analysis isn’t all about listing the strengths and the weaknesses. Nor is it about identifying the threats and opportunities. Sure, they are the key things in the analysis but without the right questions you can’t progress with the work. Having the right SWOT analysis questions will ease the workload of the analysis.
The tougher and honest questions you can ask, the more reliable SWOT analysis you will do. Also, make sure you are clear on what mission you are working on. Having a clear idea will make it easier for you to ask those SWOT analysis questions.
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