Writing a SWOT analysis as a major part of your business or marketing plan is vital in maintaining the good performance of your business. SWOT means strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. If you manage to do this properly, you will be able to assess the entire company. Through this, you will be reminded what your company’s objectives are and you will be able to determine if you have, indeed, fulfilled those objectives. It can be written using a square diagram divided into four smaller squares. In each square, there is a label for strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You may fill in each box. You do not necessarily have to explain as you may use bullet points and phrases. However, there are also other companies who use their own format. You may make it as a report, typewritten in Microsoft Word. If it is your first time to do one, just follow these simple guidelines.
- Determine strengths. Your company definitely has its own strengths. Determine what these are that will make a successful product launch. This may be your management team, the financial backing, the abundance of equipment and manpower, or the creative brainstorming team. As long as it can promote success to your business, write it down.
- Assess your weaknesses. Of course, you must try to anticipate several problems. To do so, determine your weaknesses. These would be the probable cause for failure of your business. This can be the lack of manpower, equipment, budget, and training or since your business is new, it may be the fact that your company has no credibility and credentials yet to present to potential clients.
- Know the threats. Of course, there are external factors that may pose threats to your business’ success. With identifying these threats, you must also be able to come up with probable solutions whenever these threats arise. This could be a recession in the economy, entrance of other competitors in the market, expansion of existing competitors, or natural disasters, and accidents that are related to the field of your business.
- Find opportunities. There will definitely be some things that your business could utilize to get a head start. If you are able to get your good from you suppliers at a very cheap price, then you could have a retail price lower than your competitors. Just look for these things that could give you the advantage.
- Summarize. When you have finished identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you may now put them all together. Try to foresee the future of your company using the information that you have.
SWOT analysis is not only used by new businesses. Even existing ones use it to assess their companies every year. To be able to be more focused, all department heads may be asked to do a SWOT analysis for their respective departments. Once all the people required to submit are finished, the president or CEO may sit down with them for a meeting. This usually happens in the beginning of the year, when everybody wants to start the year learning from mistakes to be able to grow. These meetings are usually not abrupt and are prepared for. You would not want your employees to assess their company when they are not prepared. If you are one of the presenters of your department’s SWOT analysis, you might want to support it with example and certain incident from the previous year. You may also come up with a PowerPoint presentation to make it more engaging.