As businesses try to move forward in this sluggish economy it may be time to pull a time honored resource out of the business toolbox– the SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). Chances are that you’ve heard of the SWOT Analysis, which is a basic tool that helps a business determine its status today and its steps for tomorrow. It has been around for decades, but it still proves to be a useful tool for those who know how to use it. If you’ve already done one on your business, or even yourself, it’s time to reexamine your efforts. If you’ve never completed a SWOT Analysis, you better get started. The first step is to take a realistic look at your business to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Strengths and weaknesses- These two areas are from within the company. Answer this question for each strength: How can my business capitalize on the strengths and become even stronger? For each weaknesses, analyze to determine which can be negated or with some effort turned into a new strength of the company.
Opportunities and Threats- These two come from outside the organization. Ask if your business is taking advantage of the opportunities that have been identified or if the opportunities are slipping through the cracks and remaining lost revenue potential. Ask if the threats identified are insurmountable or if they can they be mitigated. Can these areas become new avenues of opportunity if viewed from a different perspective?
Next steps: After identifying the items, review assess and prioritize each. The goal is to take each of the items remaining and use them to improve your business. Once all of this has been collected, categorized and analyzed, it is time to develop an action plan or strategic plan. Take the data you have developed to move forward with your business.
If you’d like more information or assistance in conducting assessments of your business contact your local SBDC. 813.905.5800
Example SWOT of XYZ Company
|Strengths (ie: Your assets? Experience? money makers?)
|Weakness (ie: Lack of resources? losing money? employee or customer dissatisfaction?)
|Opportunities(ie: Conditions that benefit you? new needs of customers could you meet? niches?)
| Threats (ie: Negative economic, political, social, competitor trends?)