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How to Perform SWOT Analysis
by Tim Berry
The SWOT analysis is a valuable step in your situational analysis. Assessing your firm’s strengths, weaknesses, market opportunities, and threats through a SWOT analysis is a very simple process that can offer powerful insight into the potential and critical issues affecting a venture.
The SWOT analysis begins by conducting an inventory of internal strengths and weaknesses in your organization. You will then note the external opportunities and threats that may affect the organization, based on your market and the overall environment. Don’t be concerned about elaborating on these topics at this stage; bullet points may be the best way to begin. Capture the factors you believe are relevant in each of the four areas. You will want to review what you have noted here as you work through your marketing plan. The primary purpose of the SWOT analysis is to identify and assign each significant factor, positive and negative, to one of the four categories, allowing you to take an objective look at your business. The SWOT analysis will be a useful tool in developing and confirming your goals and your marketing strategy.
Some experts suggest that you first consider outlining the external opportunities and threats before the strengths and weaknesses. Business Plan Pro, LivePlan, and Sales and Marketing Pro will allow you to complete your SWOT analysis in whatever order works best for you, but you will want to review all four areas in detail.
Strengths describe the positive attributes, tangible and intangible, internal to your organization. They are within your control. What do you do well? What resources do you have? What advantages do you have over your competition?
You may want to evaluate your strengths by area, such as marketing, finance, manufacturing, and organizational structure. Strengths include the positive attributes of the people involved in the business, including their knowledge, backgrounds, education,...