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What is SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a simple method for your business strategy, whether you’re building a startup or guiding an existing company.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Strengths and weaknesses are internal to your company—things that you have some control over and can change. Examples include who is on your team, your patents and intellectual property, and your location.
Opportunities and threats are external—things that are going on outside your company, in the larger market. You can take advantage of opportunities and protect against threats, but you can’t change them. Examples include competitors, prices of raw materials, and customer shopping trends.
A SWOT analysis gives you a clear picture of where you business stands and what could be your actions to make things better.
How to do a SWOT analysis?
The first element of a SWOT analysis is Strengths.
- Things your company does well
- Qualities that separate you from your competitors
- Internal resources such as skilled, knowledgeable staff
- Tangible assets such as intellectual property, capital, proprietary technologies, etc.
Once you’ve figured out your strengths, it’s time to turn that critical self-awareness on your weaknesses.
- Things your company lacks
- Things your competitors do better than you
- Resource limitations
- Unclear unique selling proposition
Next up is Opportunities.
- Underserved markets for specific products
- Few competitors in your area
- Emerging needs for your products or services
- Press/media coverage of your company
The final element of a SWOT analysis is Threats – everything that poses a risk to either your company itself or its likelihood of success or growth.
- Emerging competitors
- Changing regulatory environment
- Negative press/media coverage
- Changing customer attitudes toward your company