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What is SWOT analysis?

2017-01-17 06:17:09

I was just listening to marketing course, and among other things, it also talked about SWOT analysis. I have heard about it before, but never really gave it another thought. And obviously I had no idea of the meaning of SWOT either. But after learning about it a bit (and by no measure, I know anywhere enough of it yet) the principle is pretty straightforward I'd say.

SWOT is meant as a sort of a help tool for strategic marketing, it's for scanning the internal and external environment as part of your strategic planning process. So in essence, it can be (and is being) used for anything, not just marketing.

The meaning of SWOT

SWOT stands for - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and threats. The first two being company's internal factors, an the last two external.

What is SWOT analysis meant for?

Strengths, weaknesses, etc etc, okay, but what can I do with it, how can it help me? Generally speaking, it helps you to match your companys's resources to the environment it operates in.

"It is impossible to accurately map out a small business's future without first evaluating it from all angles, which includes an exhaustive look at all internal and external resources and threats," - Bonnie Taylor from CCS Innovations.

Examples of internal factors

- sources of income
- investment opportunities
- current financial resources
- human resources
- company's location
- equipment
- facilities
- copyrights & trademarks
- technical resources
- ...

Examples for external factors

- market trends
- economic trends
- legislature
- regulations (economic, political, environmental)

Writing them all down on a graph will help you determine what you have to work with, and what challenges you need to overcome.

SWOT analysis template

You don't need a separate template to start your own SWOT analysis. Simply draw a big square, turn it into four bigger ones, and start listing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. See the one below:

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