Starting a business (Part 5)

Do a SWOT analysis for your company?

So what is SWOT analysis?
SWOT analysis is a great planning technique that can be used to develop your business strategy, either for a startup company or an existing one.
SWOT analysis is an acronym that stands for strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
As an enterprise, no matter how small your business is, SWOT analysis is required for your business, it will help you to look at your business in new ways and from new directions.
It will help you look at your strength and weaknesses and how you can leverage on those to take advantages of the opportunities and threats that exists in your market.
SWOT analysis is something you should do at the beginning of your planning process. It is something the entire leadership team in your company should be involved in, because when evaluating a company’s performance, it is helpful for conducting a thorough and systematic review and also it helps them to have the ability to look into the company’s offer and provide insights into the business landscape.
When your team comes up with recommendations having the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you will be having a SWOT analysis that can be used in the strategic planning process.
SWOT analysis breakdown.
It’s well known that SWOT analysis is an acronym that stands for strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. But what does each of these element mean?
Strength
This point out what your company does well that makes you different from competitors, they are internal factors in your organization and they are the things within your control.
When listing the strength of the organization have it in mind that areas of strength that can be listed for a company or unit include leadership abilities, decision-making abilities, innovation, productivity, quality, service, efficiency, technological processes, and so forth. And make sure to record all suggestions on a flip chart, though all these will still go through evaluation.
Weaknesses
They are the attributes in the company that can devalue your offer or place you at a competitive advantage. They are the things that needs to be worked on in other to compete with your best competitors, such weaknesses may be organizational challenges like a shortage of skilled staff and financial or budgetary limitations, and it could also be inability to define a clear USP in crowed market.
Opportunities
They are external favorable factors in an organization that can give an organization an edge in the competitive market. In short, this element of a SWOT analysis covers everything you could do to improve sales, grow as a company, or advance your organization’s mission.
Your areas of opportunity may include emerging markets, further market penetration, introduction of new technologies, new products or services, geographic expansion, cost reduction, and so many other things.
Threats
This is the final element of SWOT analysis, it includes external factors that poses as a risk to your organization, they are the things you can’t control but if you could come up with a plan to address them you may benefit from them.
These threat varies and it may include rising unemployment, increasing competition, higher interest rates and the uncertainty of global markets.
Advantages of SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis is useful in assessing and analyzing new business and product market.
It does not require extensive training or a special technical skill. In other words, it is cost effective.
It can be used in different projects depending on the environmental factor.
It is also a source of information to organizations.
It helps to make strategic decisions for your business.
SWOT analysis helps you in identifying and analyzing the internal and external factors that can have an impact on the viability of a project, product, place or person.

By Abraham Kemisola