Swot analysis

SWOT Analysis: A simple working tool for your business

What is a SWOT Analysis (and How Can You Use It?)

A SWOT analysis is a useful tool for business and personally too. It looks ate identifying Strengths and Weaknesses but also helps to identify Opportunities and Threats. But how do you use it?

A Simple, But Effective Tool

A SWOT analysis is incredibly easy to use but can yield useful results. It is used for both business and personal progress.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Divide a page or large whiteboard into four squares. Brainstorm what you think are the strengths in one box and the Weaknesses in another. These are factors that are internal to a company or to the situation you are analysing.

For example, a company considering expanding their product range may list as a strength that they have the staff and resources to complete the work. But a weakness could be the lack of time and budget to train staff internally in new processes.

By examining strengths and weaknesses in this way, you create a balanced view as to what can be a driving force and what could be the obstacles in the way.

Opportunities and Threats

Now you have examined the internal strengths and weaknesses, you now need to think about and identify the external opportunities and threats that could both encourage and derail the project or situation.

For example, in a business format, you may want to consider that a gap in the market has been identified and thus, presents an opportunity for your new product. But, as well as the market changing, the economy is sluggish and slow, and could be an uncontrollable threat to your product.

Balance and Action

As well as providing a balance to thoughts and processes, the SWOT analysis also encourages action. For example, once you have identified internal strengths and external opportunities, how will you harness these?

For the internal weaknesses, what action can you take to rectify them; what needs to happen to turn weaknesses into strengths?

And outside threats, although they cannot be directly controlled, by identifying what they are, you can take action to minimise their impact.

A Versatile Analytical Tool

No matter what the situation, the simplicity of the analytical tool can help in most situations to create a clearer, balanced picture. It helps to determine advantages and benefits that are close to you but also to understand the complexities of external factors.

A SWOT analysis is a commonly used tool, an ideal start to more in-depth analysis of any given situation.

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