A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities & Threats) analysis can be used to assess your organization’s current positioning, both to understand where it is currently, and to pressure-test a new strategy.
Strengths are things that your organization does particularly well, or in a way that distinguishes you from your competitors. These might be the motivation of your staff, access to certain materials, or a strong set of manufacturing processes.
- What do you do well?
- What unique resources can you draw on?
- What do others see as your strenghts?
Weaknesses, like strengths, are inherent features of your organization, so focus on your people, resources, systems, and procedures.
- What could you improve?
- Where do you have fewer resources than others?
- What are others likely to see as weaknesses?
Opportunities are openings or chances for something positive to happen, and usually arise from situations outside your organization. They might arise as developments in the market you serve, or in the technology you use. Being able to spot and exploit opportunities can make a huge difference to your organization’s ability to compete and take the lead in your market.
- What opportunities are open to you?
- What trends could you take advantage of?
- How can you turn your strengths into opportunities?
Threats include anything that can negatively affect your business from the outside, such as supply chain problems, shifts in market requirements, or a shortage of recruits. It’s vital to anticipate threats and to take action against them before you become a victim of them and your growth stalls.
- What threats could harm you?
- What is your competition doing?
- What threats do your weaknesses expose you to?