How to make a great SWOT analysis (including free template)

Author: Dennis Van der Veen - Date: 18.06.2021

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and so a SWOT Analysis is a technique for assessing these four aspects of your business. You can use SWOT Analysis to make the most of what you've got, to your organization's best advantage. And you can reduce the chances of failure, by understanding what you're lacking, and eliminating hazards that would otherwise catch you unawared. And you can start to craft a strategy that distinguishes you from your competitors, and so compete successfully in your market.

SWOT analysis definition

In simple words, the SWOT is a brainstorming process that helps entrepreneurs create a solid business strategy to maximize company growth. The word is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Strengths

are internally. These are the positive attributes of your company that you have control over. Advantages usually refer to your employee skills, resources, brand, and capabilities. Discover your strengths and use them to your advantage.

Weaknesses 

are the opposite of strengths. These are internal characteristics that give a negative attribute that hinder your strengths. By identifying your gaps, you can find ways to improve and instead back your strengths up.

Opportunities

are usually external factors in your organization that have a high probability of bringing success. This can be new technological improvements, a business venture, or possible company expansion. 

Threats

When there are opportunities, they will always be accompanied by threats. These are impeding factors that you have no control over. The only way to counter this is to devise a solid contingency plan to deal with them when they occur.

Who should create the SWOT analysis?

The most obvious answer would be the start-up leader, which is not entirely correct. As the leader, you need to spearhead the creation of SWOT; however, you should not do it all alone.

Remember how the analysis can make you see different perspectives? How can this happen if you do it all alone? What you need are fresh eyes and minds. Since this is a brainstorming process, gather stakeholders of the organization. You can even bring in an external person like your business consultant or another start-up leader that is familiar with your business.

Other than that, customer/client and vendor surveys can also help in your strategic planning. They don’t belong to your organization, but still, they are involved in your business. Their feedback will help you view your business through the lens of an outsider who is the receiving end of your product. Besides, the customers are your primary concern to deliver your service or product, so their feedback is a huge factor.

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