Conducting Swot Analysis
When conducting your SWOT analysis, you should: • Examine your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats from a customers’ perspective. If you’re having trouble viewing issues that way, ask customers what they think or conduct surveys. • Separate internal issues from external issues. The company’s strengths and weaknesses are internal; opportunities and threats are external. The key test to differentiate the two environments is to ask, “Would this issue exist if the firm did not exist? ” If the answer is yes, the issue should be classified as external.
Some things to consider about your company when determining your strengths and weaknesses are: • Size and financial resources • Scale and cost economies • Customer Perceptions You will probably have to do some research on your competitors, your industry, and the environment in order to complete the opportunities and threats portion of your SWOT analysis. Here are some topics to consider: • Trends in the competitive environment • Trends in the technological environment • Trends in the socio-cultural environment
Once you’ve finished a SWOT analysis for your company, include the resulting strategy in your business and marketing plans. Some key actions to take include: • Transform strengths into capabilities by matching them with opportunities in the environment. Example Strength: The company has a very efficient order fulfillment and distribution process Opportunity: There is an unfulfilled need for the company’s product in other countries Capability: The company is capable of distributing its products worldwide • Convert weaknesses into strengths by investing strategically in key areas.
Example Weakness: Employees are not familiar with the latest technology in the company’s industry Investment: The employer sends employees to classes, workshops, and conferences Strength: Employees now have inside information on cutting edge technology relevant to the industry • Weaknesses that cannot be converted into strengths become limitations. Any limitation that is obvious and meaningful to consumers must be minimized.
Weakness: A start-up company that has a tight distribution budget and no connections in the industry may have difficulty getting shelf space in stores Meaning to consumers: Consumers may not be able to find the company’s products Minimization: Allow consumers to purchase products through other channels, such as a web site or mail order catalog Issues to Consider in a SWOT Analysis Potential Internal Strengths • Abundant financial resources