Posted On March 12th , 2020 by Profit Network Australia
For all businesses undertaking a SWOT analysis is a powerful way to evaluate your company whether you’re two people or 500 people.
The basics: a definition of SWOT analysis.
What Is a SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a technique used to determine and define your businesses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats – SWOT.
SWOT analyses can be applied to an entire business or an single project. Most SWOT analyses is used at the business wide level to determine how closely a business is aligned with its growth and success benchmarks, but they can also be used to ascertain how well a particular project – such as marketing campaign – is doing according to initial milestones such as budget, number of sales etc.
Why Your Small Business Should Conduct a SWOT Analysis.
If you’re a small-business owner, you might be wondering if SWOT analyses are practical or even feasible for smaller companies. Although there is definitely a resource overhead involved in the creation of a SWOT analysis, there are many benefits in doing so, even for the smallest of companies.
1. Conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis provides a unique opportunity to gain greater insight into how your business operates. It’s all too easy to get lost in the weeds of the day-to-day workings of your company, and conducting a SWOT analysis allows you to take a broader, bird’s eye view of your business and the position it occupies in your industry.
2. Another benefit of SWOT analyses is that this technique can be applied to a wide range of scenarios, not just as an overview of your business. You could use SWOT analyses to evaluate the potential strengths and weaknesses of a forthcoming advertising campaign, a planned content project, or even whether your company should be represented at a trade show or industry event.
3. It almost goes without saying that conducting a SWOT analysis allows you to identify what your business does well, where it could improve, and the opportunities and threats facing your business. However, conducting a SWOT analysis provides you with the opportunity to not only identify these positive factors, but also develop and implement useable roadmaps and timelines for potential solutions. This can be beneficial in the creation of budgetary plans, identifying hiring needs and other mid- to long-term strategic planning.
How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis
There are several ways to conduct a SWOT analysis. However, regardless of how you choose to structure your analysis, we need to start by asking a series of questions.
Let’s take our first element, Strengths, for example. To determine what your strengths are as a business , you could begin by asking some of the following questions:
• What do your customers love about your company or product(s)?
• What does your company do better than other companies in your industry?
• What are your most positive brand attributes?
• What’s your unique selling proposition?
• What resources do you have at your disposal that your competitors do not?
By answering these questions, you’ll be in great shape to start identifying and listing your Businesses strengths.
We can use the same principle to determine your Businesses Weaknesses:
• What do your customers dislike about your company or product(s)?
• What problems or complaints are often mentioned in your negative reviews?
• Why do your customers cancel or churn?
• What could your company do better?
• What are your most negative brand attributes?
• What are the biggest obstacles/challenges in your current sales funnel?
• What resources do your competitors have that you do not?
You may find that determining the strengths and weaknesses of your business easier or/ and takes less time than figuring out the opportunities and threats facing your company.
This is because, as we said earlier, these are internal factors. External factors, on the other hand, may require more effort and rely upon more data, as these are often beyond your immediate sphere of influence.
Identifying opportunities and threats may require you to conduct in-depth research about what your competitors are up to, or look at the wider economic or trends that could have an impact on your business.
NOTE: That’s not to say that opportunities and threats cannot be internal, however; you may discover opportunities and threats based solely on the strengths and weaknesses of your business.
Some possible questions you could ask to identify Opportunities might include:
• How can we improve our sales/customer onboarding/customer support processes?
• What kind of messaging resonates with our customers?
• How can we further engage our most vocal brand advocates?
• Are we allocating departmental resources effectively?
• Is there budget, tools, or other resources that we’re not leveraging to full capacity?
• Which advertising channels exceeded our expectations – and why?
When it comes to Threats, you could certainly begin by asking a series of questions like those above.
However, it’s often quite easy to come up with a list of potential threats facing your business without posing questions beforehand. This could include “branded” threats such as emerging or established competitors, broader threats such as changing regulatory environments and market volatility, or even internal threats such as high staff turnover that could threaten or derail current growth.