What Exactly is a SWOT Analysis?
Put simply, a SWOT analysis is a tool for determining a business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, hence the acronymic name. However, it is much more than just what its title reveals. A SWOT analysis is an incredible instrument used to help a companies grow and succeed.
One of greatest qualities of the SWOT analysis is that its quick. Anyone, from someone within the company, to a third party marketing specialist, can develop a SWOT analysis in just a couple of hours, if not less. Of course, this all depends on what part of the company’s image they are investigating (whether it’s just the website, just Facebook, twitter, or all of it combined).
The SWOT also promotes discussion. This type of analysis provides a visual of the business as a whole. Many companies have no idea what their strengths and weaknesses are, or they have some other idea of how they are succeeding and lacking. By conducting a SWOT analysis, you can determine the company’s true positive and negative qualities. This information can spark conversations about what changes need to be made within the company to promote future success.
Below is a template for filling out a SWOT Analysis. Each portion carries equal weight for the overall breakdown.
SWOT Analysis Template
These are positive areas that are internal to the company and are within the company’s control. Strengths offer a way to see, remind or reinforce the value or competitive advantage of the company.
These are internal areas that need improvement. Weaknesses offer a way to see what needs to be addressed internally in order to increase your competitive advantage
These are external areas in which your company has the potential to grow and prosper.
These are external factors that can be considered threats to your business. While these are not in your control, it is good to be aware of these items so that you are able to develop possible strategies.
Now, reflect upon your current SWOT and think how will this tie into you marketing plan over the next six months. Are there items that need to be adjusted in your marketing plan?