Here is a guide to the SWOT analysis. This specific analysis allows you to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a business situation in a given period of time. When you do this, you can have a clear and complete picture of a company and consequently understand if you can reach your goals. It may not be very easy to do it though, so follow carefully all the steps.
Create four quadrants on a sheet or a Word file. Write in the first sector all the strengths of the company and then go on to the weaknesses, then the opportunities in the third and finally all the possible threats in the fourth. Look at the results of the brainstorming and select the main ideas that represent each category. For example, a good brand, strong customer relationships, rights of intellectual property and supply are major strengths. If the company is deficient in one of these areas, it will increase the relative level of weaknesses. The opportunities often include the introduction of new niche of customers, new products and technologies or tax relief. The threats may instead be represented by a technology that is not adequate, too powerful competition, regulatory consequences or bad publicity.
Once you have done this first part of the analysis, think about how to make the most of each of these important areas. As for weaknesses, try to find ways to reduce the deficit or to turn weaknesses into strengths. Set as a goal to productively exploit the opportunities. Finally, focus on the drafting of a plan to eliminate the threats or turn them into opportunities. Show your analysis to your staff from different departments, such as legal, financial, human and marketing resources, in order to have the widest range of considerations and possible points of view.
Use the results of your SWOT analysis for strategic decisions in business. Over time these data will change inevitably, by virtue of market volatility and the business environment changes. That’s why it is essential that this operation is to be performed regularly, at least once a year. Although it will vary from time to time, you will still be able to provide your organization with a general guideline to follow, especially in times of crisis and possible stalling of the different activities.