I’m sure there’s no need to waste time persuading you that Swot analysis is one of the highest return business activities that are essential for your marketing success.

Business success relies heavily on the SWOT analysis you choose to practice and thus, many people often end up conducting the wrong SWOT analysis technique for their business. If you are reading this post and are looking for easiest way to do a SWOT analysis; no worries! 

At the end of this post, you should be able to:
  • Define SWOT analysis;
  • Understand  the advantages and disadvantages of SWOT analysis;
  • Know the examples of likely strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats;
  • Understand the steps involved in conducting SWOT analysis.
In this post, I'll show you how to do a swot analysis in the simplest way and get the best of it.

Let’s get started!

What is SWOT Analysis? 

SWOT is an acronym which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Strengths are internal positive attributes or factors that are helpful in achieving business or factors that are harmful to achieving business or organizational objectives or goals.

Weaknesses and Opportunities are also internal negative attributes or factors that are harmful to achieving business or organizational objectives or goals.

Threats are also external positive factors or conditions which could pose challenges to achieving business or organizational objectives or goals. Strengths and weaknesses are within the control of the organization while opportunities and threats are beyond the control of the organization.

How To Do SWOT Analysis

The following are the likely examples of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a typical business organization ( SWOT Analysis Examples).

#1 - Examples of Strengths
  • Your marketing expertise;
  • A new innovative product or service;
  • The strategic location of your business;
  • Customer loyalty;
  • Staff development and training programme;
  • Quality process and procedures;
  • Capital investment and a strong balance sheet;
  • Friendly, cooperative, and supportive staff; 
  • Appropriate levels of involvement through delegation and trust;
  • Effective cost control programme; 
  • Efficient procedures, systems, and well developed social responsibility;
  • Well trained staff;
  • A well-developed business network that ensures that you and your products are well known.
#2 - Examples of Weaknesses
  • Poor quality goods and services;
  • Damaged reputation;
  • Lack of marketing expertise;
  • Bad location;
  • Staff absenteeism;
  • The absence of methods for monitoring success or failure;
  • Lack of awareness of the business vision, mission, objectives, and policies; 
  • Noncompliance with or non-awareness of appropriate legislation; 
  • Poor competitiveness and higher prices;
  • A declining market for the product;
  • Lack of new products or services;
  • Out of date plant and equipment;
  • Weak managerial skills,
  • Poorly trained staff;
  • Inadequate working capital;
  • Insufficient space for expansion to meet demand;
  • Lack of new products to meet the customers' demand.
#3 - Examples of Opportunities 
  • Availability of new technology;
  • New markets; 
  • An aging population;
  • Changes in interest rates:
  • A new programme for training and monitoring quality;
  • Strengths and weaknesses of competitors; 
  • A new international market;
  • Moving into new market segments that offer improved profits;
  • A market vacated by an ineffective competitor;
  • The arrival of a large company in your area that uses goods or services like those you supply;
  • Recent legislation generating an increasing need for your goods or services;
  • Changing consumer tastes that favor items that are, or could be, strongly represented in your product range.
#4 - Examples of Threats
  • A new entrant into the market;
  • Price wars with competitors;
  • A competitor that has a new innovative product or service;
  • Competitors have superior access to channels of distribution;
  • Introduction of taxation on your product or service; 
  • The level of unemployment;
  • Environmental legislation;
  • Political instability;
  • Increase interest rates; 
  • Exchange rate fluctuations;
  • Economic recession;
  • Higher price for raw or finished materials or for services that you buy;
  • Legislation imposing new obligations or restrictions.
Note that what may represent strengths with respect to one organization may be regarded as weaknesses by another organization. Likewise, what may pose challenges to one organization may be seen as opportunities by another organization.

SWOT analysis is a useful instrument which helps entrepreneurs to identify internal strengths and weaknesses of a business and external opportunities and threats facing it.

It's a general technique that can find applications across diverse management functions and activities, but it is part appropriate to the early stages of strategic and marketing planning. Performing SWOT analysis involved identifying and recording the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats concerning a particular business or organization.

The analysis takes into consideration internal resources and capabilities (strengths and weaknesses) and factors external to the business or organization (opportunities and threats).

The aim of any SWOT analysis is to identify the key internal and external factors that are important to achieving the organizational objectives. SWOT analysis conducted based on the assumption that an effective strategy helps maximize the strengths and opportunities of a business and maximizes its weaknesses and strengths.

Entrepreneurs should try as much as possible to match strengths to opportunities and see threats as challenges.

However, entrepreneurs should understand that all factors in a SWOT analysis do not have the same value.

Some factors are unique to a particular kind of business. The aim of SWOT analysis is, therefore, to identify those critical factors that can have a significant impact on the business. Entrepreneurs can then build on vital strengths; correct obvious Weaknesses; exploit significant opportunities and avoid potentially disastrous threats.

SWOT analysis is used within an organization in the early stages of strategic and marketing planning. It also used in problem-solving decision making, or for making staff aware of the need for change. It can be used at a personal level when examining your career path or determining possible career development.

ONE of the way we can utilities SWOT is by MATCHING and CONVERTING.

matching is used to find competitive advantages by matching the strengths to opportunities while converting is to apply conversion strategies to convert threats or weaknesses into strengths and opportunities.

An example of conversion strategy to find a new market for your product or service, but if the threats or weaknesses cannot be converted, the best alternative is to minimize or avoid them.

NOTE: In applying SWOT analysis, entrepreneurs should ask and be able to answer the following questions:
  1. How can I use or capitalize on each strength? 
  2. How can I improve each weakness? 
  3. How can I exploit and benefit from each opportunity?
  4. How I mitigate each threat?
Guides To Conducting A Good SWOT Analysis

The following guidelines are to guide entrepreneurs (businessmen) when conducting SWOT analysis:
  • Take wide-ranging views of external influence or trends;
  • Be realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of your business organization;
  • Swot analysis should distinguish between where your organization is today and where it wants to be in the future;
  • Keep your SWOT analysis short and simple;
  • SWOT analysis should be analytical and specific - avoid grey areas; 
  • Choose the right people for the exercise;
  • Select appropriate leader or facilitator;
  • Use SWOT analysis as a guide and not as a prescription.
Important Notice!
Remember that any form of SWOT analysis is better carried out by a team of experts which may include an account, a salesperson, an engineer, and ombudsman.

How To Conduct SWOT Analysis In 8 Easy Steps

The following are the steps involved in conducting SWOT analysis:

Step #1: Set the objectives

The purpose of conducting a swot analysis must be clearly defined. It may be wide or narrow, general or specific. What is important is that you must be clear about what you are doing and why you are doing it. 

Step #2: Selecting appropriate contributors

This is important if final recommendations are to result from consultation and discussion, not just personal views, however, expert. The contributors may be a group of experts selected from different disciplines or levels of the organization.

Step #3: Allocate research and information -gathering tasks 

Background preparation is a vital stage for the subsequent analysis to be effective and should be divided among the SWOT analysis participants. This preparation can be conducted in two stages; exploratory, followed by data collection; and detailed, followed by a focused analysis.
  • Gathering information on strengths and weaknesses should focus on the internal factors of skills, resources, and assets, or the lack of them.
  • Gathering information on opportunities and threats should focus on external factors such as social, market, economic or technological trends over which you have a title or no control.
Step #4: Create a workshop environment

In compelling and recording the SWOT analysis lists takes place in meetings, exploit the benefits of workshop sessions. Encourage an atmosphere conducive to the uninhibited flow of information and to participants openly expressing what they think, free from blame.

The leader/facilitator has a key role here and should allow time for free flow of thought, but not too much. Half an hour is often enough to spend on strengths, for example, before moving on. It's important to be specific, evaluative, and analytical at the stage of compiling and recording the SWOT lists --- mere description is not enough.

Step #5: List Strengths

Strengths can relate to the organization, to the environment, to the public relations and perceptions, to market share, or to people.

Step #6: List Weaknesses

This session should not be an avenue to criticise the business or organization but should elicit an honest appraisal of the way things are. Below are some key questions you put into consideration:
  1. What obstacles prevent progress? 
  2. Which elements need strengthening?
  3. Where are the complaints coming from? 
  4. Are there any real weak links in the chain?
You also note that it's not unusual for “people” problems like poor communication, bad leadership, lack of motivation, too little delegation, no trust, the left hand not knowing what the right is doing, etc to feature among the major weaknesses.

Step #7: List Opportunities

This step is designed to assess the environmental factors, to evaluate the benefits that they may bring to the organization. Also, bear in mind how long opportunities might last and how the organization may take the best advantage them.

Step #8: Act on your findings

Make sure that the SWOT analysis is used in subsequent planning. Also, revisit your findings at appropriate intervals to check that they are still valid.

Now, let's have a look at some advantages and disadvantages of SWOT analysis below.

Advantages of SWOT analysis 
  1. SWOT analysis enables the organization to spot business opportunities and exploit them fully; 
  2. It encourages the development of strategic thinking;
  3. It enables the organization to anticipate future business threats and take action to avoid minimize their impact;
  4. It enables the organization to focus on strengths and build opportunities.
Disadvantages of SWOT analysis
  1. SWOT analysis is consuming;
  2. It lacks detailed structured, which makes it easy to miss the key elements.
  3. That data used in the analysis may be based on assumptions that may subsequently prove unfounded (good or bad).
  4. The space of changes makes it difficult to anticipate developments that may affect the organization in the future;
  5. It needs to be conducted regularly, which makes it difficult.
So this is all you need to know how to do a SWOT analysis for a company or person and avoid the hassle of conducting a successful SWOT analysis for your small business.

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Safe Milli

Safe Milli

Welcome to ComfortSkillz.com. I am Barnabas, A Student of Office Technology and Management at Federal Polytechnic Idah (FPI), Kogi State, Nigeria. The C.E.O. of comfortskillz blog.

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2 comments:

  1. Greetings! Very useful advice within this article!
    It is the little changes that will make the most significant changes.

    Many thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Welcome Anonymous,

    Glad you loved the article. Do share with friends.

    ReplyDelete