A SWOT analysis is a tool which allows users to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats affecting their business. It should allow the business to determine what’s working, what needs improving and how it compares to competitors and the wider market.
Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors within your control, and opportunities and threats are external factors where you don’t have control.
The goal is to fill in your SWOT and then look for areas where you can turn weaknesses into strengths, and threats into opportunities. This then gives the business a focus for how to move forward with its plans.
Whilst you can do a SWOT analysis on your own, you might find it more useful to complete as a team, so that you capture multiple points of views.
Below are some examples questions to ask yourself when completing your SWOT. You can also use our SWOT template.
These are internal factors and areas of strength that your company has control over:
- What is your USP?
- What sets you apart from the marketplace?
- What’s currently working well?
- What resources, knowledge and skills do you have in your team that set you apart?
- What makes people buy your products or services?
These are internal factors and areas of weakness that your company has control over:
- Is something stopping you from being competitive in the marketplace?
- What processes need improvement?
- Are there resource or knowledge gaps on your team that need to be filled?
- Are there any areas where you’re losing sales or struggling to convert customers?
Opportunities are external factors that can add to your success:
- Are there any interesting trends in the market that mean your products and services are more likely to be needed?
- Is there an emerging marketing that you could become a part of?
- Is there any change to law or regulation that might assist in marketing your products and services?
Threats are external factors that you don’t have control over that might impact your success:
- Are there any new competitors joining the market?
- Is there any change to law or regulation that might challenge your products and services?
- What are your competitors doing?
- Are there any market trends that could have a negative impact on your plans?