SWOT analysis enables firms to identify factors which need to be taken into account when developing marketing and corporate strategy. SWOT is an acronym which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors which are controllable by the organisation. Opportunities & threats are external factors which are uncontrollable by the organisation.
Below is a diagram showing each of the sections that make up a SWOT analysis
Strengths are internal factors that will help the organisation be successful. They can include employees, procedures, business assets and products. Examples of internal factors that are a strength are:
- A strong brand name
- Good Market share
- Good Reputation
- Expertise and Skill
Weaknesses are internal factors which could stop or slow down organisation's growth and success. Just like strengths they can relate to employees, procedures, business assets and products. Examples of internal factors that are a weakness are:
- Low or no market share
- No brand loyalty
- Lack of employee experience
- Inefficient company processes and procedures
Opportunities are factors outside the business which the firm may be able to use to help it grow the business. Examples of opportunities include
- A growing market
- Increased consumer spending
- Legal changes which make selling abroad/international marketing easier
Threats are factors outside the business which could make trading conditions more challenging for the firm. Examples of threats include
- Government policy such as a ban on some of the activities carried out by the firm
- Taxation rules which reduce the firm's or consumer income
- A change in consumer habits which makes the firm's products less appealing to the target market.
A SWOT analysis is a simple way to quickly assess the things that are "good" and "bad" for an organisation on a particular date. After the SWOT analysis firms should work out how to they can build on their strengths and make the most of opportunities. They also need to assess the impact of weaknesses to decide whether they need to get rid of them or simply prevent them from growing. Threats are external factors so organisations can not control them or wipe them out, instead firms should plan how to minimise their impact on the business.