SWOT analyses are designed to help you fully understand the different circumstances an organization or venture faces, or may face, which provides valuable insight into the many different facets of business management. Conducting a good SWOT analysis is as easy as just listing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, but what if you don’t know what exactly each of those categories should include?
In this series of articles, we’ll be going over each of the letters in the ‘SWOT’ acronym, explaining what they mean, and giving clear, understandable examples.
Before you read on: Not sure what a SWOT analysis really is? Read this article before continuing.
S is for Strengths: Definition
The first letter in the SWOT acronym is S, which stands for ‘Strengths’. Strengths are a property of every organization or venture which answer the question “What do we do well?” or “What is good about us/our product?” Strengths are internal — that is to say, every organization (even in the same environment) has a different set of strengths which they worked for themselves.
Strengths differ from opportunities in that the latter is external. In other words, organizations have no control over the presence or frequency of opportunities (but rather whether or not and how they choose to use them), but they do have control over strengths (by choosing to either neglect or improve certain areas).
Strengths: Why include them?
Analyzing strengths is an essential part of business analysis, mainly because it allows better decision making, planning, and management. Knowing what you do well allows you to make the most of it, and consequently, receive the maximum benefit.
Examples of Strengths in SWOT Analysis
Examples always make things easier to understand, so here are some general and specific examples of strengths that might come up in a SWOT analysis.
- A loyal customer base for a small business: small businesses are particularly fragile, especially in volatile markets. That’s why having a loyal customer base is a big strength for a small business — they can push through difficult conditions and will always have a group of people willing to support them.
- Lots of capital for a country: having lots of finances is always a plus. A healthy financial situation allows countries to take bigger risks and survive tougher conditions, both of which are beneficial in every regard.
- Premium quality for a handmade product: if a product is of high quality, it’s bound to receive more sales, and do so in a part of the market which offers larger margins.
- A wide product range for Nestle: Nestle’s large range of products means it has a much better chance to survive and thrive as a business, especially in tough conditions, as it is less affected by particular supply shortages or market movements.
- A healthy brand image for Apple: many smartphones and tablets are capable of performing just as well as Apple products, and in most cases, boast the same functionality, but yet Apple remains the forerunner in mobile technology. This is because their name has a sense of quality and integrity associated with it, which draws in clients.
- A well-made product for Shimano: Shimano are world leaders in producing complex bicycle components and accessories, and hold that position rightly thanks to their reliable quality. They produce products that work without any issues, at acceptable prices. This means that they produce the industry standard components in many premade bikes, and resultingly receive more sales.
For more examples, be sure to check out our complete SWOT analyses available here.
In conclusion, strengths are a positive, internal property of businesses or ventures. They are important in building effective strategies, and are easily visible in all of the world’s biggest companies, such as Apple and Nestle.
Do you know of any other good examples of strengths in SWOT analysis? Let us know down below, along with your questions and comments.
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