How to Perform SWOT Analysis

What is a SWOT analysis?

The point of a SWOT analysis is to help you develop a strong business strategy by making sure you've considered all of your business's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats it faces in the marketplace. As you might have guessed from that last sentence, S.W.O.T. is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal to the company (think: reputation, patents, location). You can change them over time but not without some work. Opportunities and threats are external (think: suppliers, competitors, prices) - they are out there in the market, happening whether you like it or not. You can't change them.

To get started and perform a SWOT analysis, begin here: SWOT Analysis Template Download

Existing businesses can use a SWOT analysis, at any time, to assess a changing environment and respond proactively. In fact, I recommend conducting a strategy review meeting at least once a year that begins with a SWOT analysis.

New businesses should use a SWOT analysis as a part of their planning process. There is no "one size fits all" plan for your business, and thinking about your new business in terms of its unique "SWOTs" will put you on the right track right away, and save you from a lot of headaches later on.

SWOT Analysis

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