How to Do SWOT Analysis of a Company

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool designed to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It helps businesses understand:

  • Where to put their efforts
  • When to cut their losses
  • What to be concerned for and
  • How to look for advantages.

When starting from scratch, this is how to do SWOT analysis of a company.

1. Choose the right candidate

SWOT analysis should be conducted by a person associated with the company. This person may be someone who oversees internal departments. They may have direct access to personnel, projects, data and research.

A business analyst may be exactly who you need.

They examine business processes, workflow, and task management, without showing bias. Business analysts are trained in strategic planning and use various analysis, such as SWOT, on a regular basis.

2. Start with the strengths

The analyst completing the SWOT analysis will begin examining Strengths or the ‘S’ in SWOT.

They’ll find strengths through the gathering of data, specifically by examining results from previous projects. Additionally, the analyst will also question employees and managers to hear their perspectives.

It’s important to gather insight from workers as they will have strong opinions on where company strengths lie.

Strengths examples include:

  • Profits
  • Communication strategies
  • Innovation
  • Services
  • Reviews/Praise
  • Decision-making

Now identify how strengths can be boosted. Specifically, consider how a strength can be leveraged to give additional benefits to the firm.

Note: Traits may appear in other categories of the SWOT analysis. For example, what is considered a strength at the moment may be a future opportunity. So place it under ‘opportunities’ too. Or a strength could be a weakness to a separate department. In that case, it will also be listed under ‘weaknesses.’

3. Rank the strengths

Your list of strengths is hopefully long. That’s a positive sign. The more advantages a company has, the stronger they can become.

But not every strength is equal.

Some will outshine others; they’re more valuable depending on business expectations. That’s what we want to emphasize.

At this point, you’ll rank strengths. Pinpoint your top 3 to 5. We want to limit the list to focus on primary advantages. Because it’s difficult to maximize the potential of every strength on the list.

After all, companies have limited funding, expenses, and resources. Shortening the list of strengths helps focus on what’s important.

Strengths are an advantage against competitors. They help firms stand apart. Efforts must be concentrated to see maximum results.

4. Conclude

With your now concentrated list of strengths, it’s time to summarize.

This review section highlights:

  • What the chosen strengths are
  • Who they affect
  • The potential benefits and
  • Why they’re in the top list.

Everything must be addressed clearly for executives and stakeholders. It needs to be easy to digest, from start to finish, why these strengths were chosen above others.

Analysts need to convince stakeholders that funds, resources, and time should be directed towards these efforts.

5. Repeat steps 2 – 4 for the rest of the analysis

You’ll follow the above guidelines for each phase of the analysis. Replace strengths with weaknesses. Then focus on opportunities. And finally, analyze threats.

Note: The questions in step 2 will differ.

For weaknesses, consider how they can be eliminated, reduced, or altered. If they can’t be removed, how can they be reduced? If they can’t be reduced, can they be turned into a strength or opportunity?

Opportunities must be assessed on how they can benefit the company. But also how they could become threats. Remember that opportunities aren’t real yet. In SWOT, opportunities are about acknowledging and utilizing their benefits as they develop.

Threats also aren’t tangible. Examine them to mitigate risk and prepare for adverse impact.

By repeating steps 2 – 4 for the remaining categories, you’ll have an enhanced understanding how to do SWOT analysis for a company.

Image: Leszek Glasner/