Every business growth comes with more projects and opportunities, as well as challenges and obstacles.
To manage this growth and continue to upscale your business, you have to prioritise what is most important.
What projects should you execute first?
What challenges should you address urgently?
Doing a SWOT analysis on your business will help you develop a plan that maximises opportunities and minimises obstacles. You will identify areas your business can improve and the challenges that might block your chances of success.
What Is a SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis is a simple business evaluation method that highlights the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an enterprise to allow for improvement.
A SWOT analysis will help you move forward with your business by making impartial assessments of your brand or business, market position, a particular channel or campaign, and an initiative or new project.
You can apply the SWOT technique to any aspect of your business requiring internal or external strategic planning. With this approach, you will gain valuable insight into several aspects of your business and avoid making costly mistakes.
What does the acronym SWOT stand for?
S = Strengths
W = Weaknesses
O = Opportunities
T = Threats
Why Is SWOT Analysis Important?
SWOT analysis provides a simple and practical approach to business evaluation in the following ways:
It gives you the space to ponder and dream before taking action.
This is important for gaining insights into projects that could transform into valuable business assets. You are also able to create a roadmap for an initiative.
It compels you to, first of all, define your variable
You are forced to list all your assets and roadblocks before going into planning and execution. This can help you design a more direct and effective business management strategy.
It helps you think more practically and consider mitigating factors.
With SWOT analysis you get to identify your weaknesses and threats and address them in your roadmap, therefore increasing your chances of success.
It helps you keep a record of the changes that occur in your company.
As your business grows, you will have a written record of your old SWOTs and the new changes you add to your SWOT. You can gain insights on how to improve your business by looking at where you started, your current progress, and where you would like to be.
Now we’ve got the definition and whys of SWOT out of the way, let’s dive into the real reason for this guide, how to do a SWOT analysis.
I will be showing you how to conduct a SWOT analysis with an example and a free template you can use for your business.
How to Write a Good SWOT Analysis
To be honest, there are several steps you will have to take to do a SWOT analysis for your business.
But the GOOD NEWS is that these are very simple steps.
1. Download a SWOT Analysis Template.
To help you get started with ease, I have designed a free SWOT Analysis Template with an editable layout just for you.
However, feel free to search on Google for a template of your choice or create one yourself. Just make sure that it includes the four parameters (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunity, Threats) you will need to analyse your business.
A SWOT template saves you the stress of starting the process from scratch. For example, drawing a table and arranging it into four sections.
It allows you to think of the internal strengths and weaknesses of your business, as well as the external opportunities and threats that could affect your company’s performance. You also get to identify what sets you apart from your competition.
2. Identify your objective.
Before you begin to write, first determine what you will be evaluating with your SWOT analysis.
You need to be specific about what you want to examine, or else your SWOT analysis will be too broad, resulting in analysis paralysis during your evaluations.
- If you are designing a social media program, your analysis should advise you on a content creation strategy.
- If you are looking to redesign your brand, you will explore current and future brand concepts.
- If you are launching a new product, you need to analyse the market positioning of that product.
By identifying your objective, you can focus your evaluation to get more practical insights.
4. List your strengths.
Your strength is what you are excelling at.
Think about the things you are currently doing well and better than your competitors and list them under the “Strengths” section.
Is your brand easily recognizable and well-known? Is it well-received by a particular audience or a widespread group? Is your process effective or innovative?
Identify at least three standout features that make your brand a favourite in the market.
5. Identify your weaknesses.
Think of the obstacles blocking you from reaching your goals.
What services or products do your competitors provide that make your business look inferior?
When identifying your weaknesses, think of any potential roadblock that could hinder your success. This includes the least profitable aspects of your business, areas you need resources, or what project costs you the most money and time.
Your employees are likely to spot weaknesses you haven’t discovered, so make sure to get their input.
6. Explore your opportunities.
Dream big and explore your opportunities as best you can.
Try to include potential opportunities in your SWOT analysis. Ask yourself questions such as:
- What technologies does my business need to make it more effective?
- What new target audience do I want to reach?
- What can I do to make my business stand out more in the industry?
- Is there something my customers complain about that I could resolve with a social media strategy?
The opportunities section goes side by side with the weaknesses section. Once you have identified your weaknesses, it should be easy to create a list of potential opportunities that could arise if you tackle your weaknesses.
7. List your threats.
Think of the things that might prevent you from reaching your goal. Brainstorm about what is happening in your business or with your competitors that might negatively affect your success.
Ask questions like, “is there a new technology in the market that can compete with our product?”
Listing your threats helps you analyse them objectively. You can go through the list and identify a major threat and find solutions to it. For example, if your biggest threat is your competitor’s famous Facebook account, you could engage your marketing team to create content that showcases your unique product or service.
SWOT Analysis Example
Let’s demonstrate with an example how a SWOT analysis can be used in real life. This will give you a better understanding of the application of the SWOT concept.
Samsung’s SWOT Analysis
Here’s how you could do a SWOT analysis on Samsung.
1. Brand recognition
2. Quality products
3. Innovative products
1. High prices
2. Battery System
3. Lack of Rooting Support
1. Expand market
2. Create new product lines
3. Technological advancement
1. Tough competition
3. International issues
Let’s start by listing three major strengths of Samsung:
- Brand recognition
- Quality products
- Innovative products
Samsung’s brand is undoubtedly valuable, and its brand is considered one of the most valuable in the world. Since Samsung can be easily recognized, it can create new products with the confidence of excelling in the market because of its brand name.
This high level of recognition strengthens Samsung’s ability to sell products.
In addition, Samsung devices are of top quality and possess high functionality. The Samsung Galaxy has several notable features that rival its iPhone counterpart in the market.
Lastly, Samsung creates innovative products with cutting-edge technology. They were the first to produce a flexible screen smartphone with the Samsung Galaxy Round in 2013. They went right over the edge in 2019, stunning the entire world with the Galaxy Fold, a collapsible smartphone.
Next, let’s look at three of Samsung’s weaknesses:
- High prices
- Battery System
- Lack of Rooting Support
While the high prices of Samsung devices don’t deter middle and high-class customers, they do hinder Samsung’s ability to reach the lower-class demographic.
Furthermore, Samsung smartphone batteries are known to have certain flaws. Without an efficient thermal system, the batteries overheat when large applications are being run. New Samsung phones charge quickly and the batteries last for a long time. However, after a few years of use, the batteries perform poorly and do not hold a charge for long.
Lack of Rooting Support is another major flaw of Samsung phones. Developers opt for Rooted Smartphones which can be modified and customised to meet their needs.
Now, let’s examine the opportunities for Samsung.
It’s easy to identify opportunities for improvement, once you consider Samsung’s weaknesses:
- Expand market
- Create new product lines
- Technological advancement
One of Samsung’s biggest weaknesses is its lack of rooting support on its devices. If the tech giant produces smartphones with the rooting feature, they can expand their market to include developers.
There are also plenty of opportunities for Samsung to create new products. Samsung could consider creating more affordable products to reach a larger demographic or spreading out into new industries.
Samsung could keep advancing its products’ technology. It can take existing products and improve on them by adding as many unique features as possible.
To conclude, let’s look at the threats to Samsung.
Here are three of Samsung’s biggest threats:
- Tough competition
- International issues
Samsung isn’t the only innovative tech company in the market. It continues to face tough competition from Apple, Huawei, and other tech giants. Samsung’s weaknesses affect its ability to compete with other major tech companies within the ecosystem.
A second threat to Samsung is lawsuits. Samsung has faced a bunch of lawsuits, particularly between Samsung and Caltech. Lawsuits interfere with Samsung’s reputable image and could make some customers purchase elsewhere.
Although Samsung has a wide international reach, it has been accused of unsustainable labour practices in its supply chain. These include health and safety concerns linked to worker deaths, poor wages, exploitation, and union-busting.
If Samsung fails to defend its international reputation and image, it risks losing the market to competitors such as Apple, Huawei, and Google.
Generally, a SWOT analysis can measure and address both big and small challenges, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses.
While the above example focuses on a business, you can also use a SWOT analysis to evaluate and predict how a particular product will perform in the market.
With our SWOT template, you will have a fresh perspective for your market research and business analysis, and gain better insights into how to optimise your products for bigger sales, and fewer challenges.