Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

Business Basics: The SWOT Analysis

July 26, 2017

Today, we are getting back to business basics and covering the SWOT analysis and how it can help any business – old and new.

The SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps a business identify their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and threats that may exist in a specific business situation. A SWOT analysis is a good tool for general business strategizing and a starting point for team discussions.

When is the last time your business completed a SWOT analysis?

Here is some advice: To get the most complete, objective results, a SWOT analysis is best conducted by a group of people with different perspectives and stakes in your company. Management, sales, customer service, and even customers can all contribute valid insight. Moreover, the SWOT analysis process is an opportunity to bring your team together and encourage their participation in and adherence to your company’s resulting strategy.

Questions to Ask During the Process

Use the list of questions below to start the important conversations that will uncover the nuggets that will improve your business.

Strengths: Think about the attributes of yourself and your business that will help you achieve your objective. Questions to consider:

  • What do you do well?
  • What are your unique skills?
  • What expert or specialized knowledge do you have?
  • What experience do you have?
  • What is your competitive advantage?
  • Where are you most profitable in your business?

Weaknesses: Think about the attributes of yourself and your business that could hurt your progress in achieving your objective. Questions to consider:

  • In what areas do you need to improve?
  • What resources do you lack?
  • What parts of your business are you losing money?
  • Where do you need further education and/or experience?
  • What costs you time and/or money?

Opportunities: Think about the external conditions that will help you achieve your objective. Questions to consider:

  • What are the business goals you are currently working towards?
  • How can you do more for your existing customers or clients?
  • How can you use technology to enhance your business?
  • Are there new target audiences you have the potential to reach?
  • Are there related products and services that provide an opportunity for your business?

Threats: Think about the external conditions that could damage your business’s performance. Questions to consider:

  • What obstacles do you face?
  • What are the strengths of your biggest competitors?
  • What are your competitors doing that you’re not?
  • What’s going on in the economy?
  • What’s going on in the industry

We hope this helps! If you were feeling stuck or lacking inspiration for new ideas, a SWOT analysis can definitely spark you and your team’s imagination.

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