SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used for understanding and decision making for all sorts of situations in business and organizations. SWOT is basically an acronym for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats.
SWOT analysis is used for used for business planning, strategic planning, competitor evaluation, marketing, business and product development and research reports.
It is based on internal factors vs. external factors of a company. Strength and weakness of a company are mapped as the internal factors, and the opportunities and threats are distinctively mapped as the external factors.
The internal parameters (Strength and weakness) are affected by the internal factors of a business like the factors relating to the product, pricing strategy, costs, profitability, quality, brands, affordability, skills, etc., whereas the external parameters (Opportunities and threats) are affected by the external factors like the market, industry, sector, audience, the economy of the country, politics, society cultures, technology, etc.
The internal parameters tend to be in the present state of the firm and the external parameters are for the future.
A Swot Analysis matrix looks like:
Strengths are things that your organization does are good at, or in a way that distinguishes a company from its competitors. Think about the advantages an organization has over other organizations.
These might be the motivation of the staff, access to certain materials, or a strong set of manufacturing processes. Remember, any aspect of the organization is only strength if it shows you a clear benefit. For example, if all of the competitors provide high-quality products, then a high-quality production process is not strength in your market: it’s a necessity.
Weaknesses, like strengths, are internal features of your business or organization, so focus on your people, resources, systems, and procedures. Think about what the company could improve, and the kind of practices you should avoid.
Weaknesses are all those things you do not perform well. SWOT weaknesses can prevent you from achieving organizational goals and objectives. Weaknesses are negative and internal factors that affect your organizational successes.
Few examples of organizational weaknesses are irrelevant target population, bad factory location, poor financial performance, and poor systems that one can apply inexperienced leadership.
Opportunities are openings or chances for something positive to happen, but one needs to claim them for themselves!
They usually arise from situations outside the organization, and require an eye to what might happen in the future. They might arise as developments in the market a firm serves, or in the technology they use. Being able to spot and exploit opportunities can make a huge difference to the organization’s ability to compete and take the lead in the market.
These don’t need to be game-changers: even small advantages can increase an organization’s competitiveness.
Threats include anything that can negatively affect a business from the outside, such as supply chain problems, shifts in market requirements, or a shortage of recruits. A company’s vital to anticipate threats and to take action against them before they become a victim of them and the growth stalls.
A company should always consider what its competitors are doing, and whether they should be changing their organization’s emphasis to meet the challenge. One should be sure to explore whether their organization is especially exposed to external challenges.