What is SWOT Analysis ?
Well this SWOT analysis often comes up in the business discussion and also while developing strategies. Chances are you’ve at least heard of the term SWOT Analysis at-least one in life time. But what is a SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis is often used to complete an objective assessment of a business, but the same analysis can actually be conducted on an industry, product, or even an individual.
SWOT analysis is another form of business evaluation where you can use it to evaluate your own business, some particular project, or even about yourself. The purpose of a SWOT analysis is to create a synthesized view of your company’s current state.
Its is a management tool which is used to evaluate company’s strategic plan and how to deal with internal and external factors.
SWOT FULL Form
SWOT is an acronym which simple stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s important to understand that any business cannot exist in a vacuum. SWOTs allow you to think about your internal strengths and weaknesses, but also any external things that could affect your business’s performance.
And don’t forget that your competitors also have strengths and weaknesses and those are important to take into account when planning.
Meaning of SWOT/ Definition of SWOT
So SWOT analysis have been around since 1960s, although the origin of SWOT is not clear. But they are used by business across the world. SWOT analysis provides a fresh perspective on your business and what you are offering.
SWOT analysis is a tried-and-tested technique to represent where you currently are, and then take action to move ahead. You can make SWOT analysis part of your plans to start a new business venture. You can apply it to an existing business
We cannot create a perfect SWOT analysis without understanding what your customers are saying about what you’re doing well and what you’re not doing well.
SWOT is basically an overall evaluation of any company. So when we talk about Strengths and Weaknesses, these are internal to company where company has more control over it. On other hand if we talk about Opportunities and Threats they are external to the company where company has less control over it.
Internal Factors ( Strength & Weakness )
The first is the analysis of strengths and weaknesses Internal factors represents the internal characteristics, means that the company has some control over their development and implementation
Strengths are the area’s in which you excel or do better than anyone else ? Now, to Strengths are the area’s in which you excel or do better than anyone else ? Now, to identify your strengths, first think of what as you have done better than others, what areas are there in which no one can match you or even compete with you so called significant advantage and that are often difficult to mimic. How are we unique and special ?
What advantages do we have that others don’t. What are we great at doing things, What’s makes us so unique and special . Strength are normally the company’s USP which makes them the market leader. Strengths are internal and the positive attributes which company has.
Common strengths can include: brand recognition, Cost advantage, Best in class Quality, brand loyalty, strong financial, skilled and committed workforce, intellectual property like patents and trade secrets. For example, Amazon became famous by originally selling books online at competitive prices. The strength that makes Amazon offer those discount prices was its ability to maintain a cost advantage over others.
Next define what are your weakness. What are the area where you struggle or have fallen shot of mark. Or where are we lacking behind. Essentially these are areas in which the business does not excel and can serve as liabilities in the future. Weaknesses are like negative factors which will detract from your official strengths or USP’s resulting in the more focus from company side.
From a business perspective, weaknesses make a company vulnerable to competitors, which is why if a weakness is identified it’s typically a good idea to attempt to lessen the significance of it.
Companies like Dell, Google, Microsoft, Ebay, have all found a way to leverage advances in technology in order to provide value for their consumers.
Weaknesses often include negative brand reputation, poor quality of product, inexperience workforce, poor quality management system , poor distribution of networks, and very complicated organizational structure.
External Factors ( Opportunities and Threat)
Opportunities may relate to financial, industry, societal, environmental or political issues, according to Better Evaluation. Competitors, everybody has competitors. Understand what your top three competitors are doing gives us good opportunities to be ahead of them.
Opportunities are areas that your business could take advantage of . Where is the potential, where can we grow and expand, which trends could benefit us.Is there an unserved or underserved market you could grow into? Are you maximizing your media coverage? Could you change or develop a product to better serve a wider audience? Your product might be great now but is there anything that could happen in the next six months that could change?
What about in the next year? From a business perspective it’s always important to be scanning the environment for possible opportunities, as they can serve as a unique advantage for companies if leveraged
Threats are areas you should be wary of. And by threat we mean what are your competitors up to ? Threat is a challenge posed by an unfavorable trend or development that you have no control over. Now to deal with threats we need to create a contingency plan. Like opportunities, threats are based on changes in the business’s external environment. However threats can harm the company in some way if they are not addressed.
Truthfully, many threats were once likely opportunities that the business failed to either identify, or maybe they identified the threat but downplayed its significant. Your product might be great now but is there anything that could happen in the next six months that could change. You need to be prepared for this and stay ahead of the game.
Competitors, everybody has competitors. Understand what your top three competitors are doing. Super important to have a holistic view of your external perspective As you embark on new innovative thinking for your business, consider using a SWOT analysis to jump-start the planning process.
How to Conduct SWOT analysis:
SWOT is 2×2 matrix with each cell represent Strength, Weakness, Opportunities & Threat
A good time to conduct a SWOT analysis is when your businesses is going through an area of change. This could be a launch, a new product, or a repositioning The best way to conduct a SWOT is to gather all the relevant stakeholders from different departments, and then have quick brainstorm session. Then we will tell everyone to list down everything that comes in your mind from Strength, Weakness, Threat and Opportunities. Once we are done with brainstorm session.
Whilst a SWOT analysis is a good starting point for evaluation, the disadvantage of a SWOT is that it doesn’t leave you with any actionable outcomes so you should always take the information you gather within the SWOT process and develop that further.
Once this list is ready, present it to the team and then use it to develop your business strategy or strategic planning.
Typical Application of SWOT includes :
- Change management
- Big-picture planning
- New initiative launching
Convert your SWOT analysis outcome in actionable outcome or strategies :
- Use your Strengths to minimize Threats
- Use your Strengths to take advantages of Opportunities
- Improve Weakness by taking advantages of Opportunities
- Eliminate Weakness to avoid Threats
Example of SWOT analysis
Let look at the SWOT analysis of Google . Before we start the SWOT analysis of Google, it is important to know some facts or history of Google.
Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 with total annual revenue of $160.86 Billion (2019). Its headquarters are in Mountain View, USA. Currently it is headed by Sundar Pichai, who is the CEO of Google. It is number search engine in the world.
Google SWOT Analysis
- Market Leader in Online Search (85% Market share)
- High Revenue of $161 Billion (2019)
- Brand Valuation of $207 Billion
- Most Valuable Brand
- Poor Pricing Strategies
- Over dependence on Advertisement
- Algorithm accuracy
- Cloud computing or Cloud Store
- Non-Adverting Revenue
- Android operating system
- Google Play & Google Glasses
- Market share declining
- Antitrust Policies
- High advertising Cost
- Alternative products
McDonald’s SWOT analysis
Watch this YouTube video for detailed McDonald’s SWOT analysis.
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