What is a SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps you as a small business owner identify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and threats that may exist in a specific business situation.
A SWOT analysis essentially consists of brainstorming about the key variables that affect your company:
You should only include strengths that your business, and only your business, possesses. Strengths may include special skills, motivations or competitive advantages.
Questions to ask yourself when filling out your “strengths:”
- What is it about your brand equity that sets you apart in the industry?
- What does your brand stand for?
- How does your brand engage with your customers?
These include negative factors, such as lack of capital, shortages of skilled personnel or unproven products. Always challenge yourself to identify weaknesses that your business faces and focus on the factors that keep you from being competitive.
Questions to ask yourself when filling out your “weaknesses:”
- Does your brand stand out?
- Do your customers really know what your brand is about, above and beyond the product themselves?
These are positive situations, that if executed properly, it will boost your company’s success. While most businesses create a laundry list of product opportunities, most neglect to think about where they can take the brand.
Take the following into consideration:
- Untapped markets
- Promising customer relationships
- Weak competitors.
Threat factors are universal to all businesses in a given category. They also include not clearly visible threats, such as pending regulations, potential problems such as economic downturns, new competitors and changes in consumer tastes.
Remember, you may only be one crisis away from weakening your brand, always ensure that you identify threats to both your products and your brand.