A SWOT analysis focuses on your company's internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats that may impact your business. By recognizing both positive and negative factors that affect your business, you can take an objective look at your business and use the results to improve your marketing messages. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when creating your SWOT analysis:
- Strengths refer to what your company does well. List all positive attributes and advantages you have over your competition, such as an industry-leading warranty, in-house support staff, outstanding reputation, or established customer base.
- Weaknesses include areas you need to improve in order to better compete. Examples might include high pricing, inferior products, limited resources, poor location, and so forth. An outside viewpoint of your company's weaknesses can be very valuable, since company perceptions lack the customer perspective.
- Opportunities refer to external chances for your business to grow and prosper. Opportunities typically occur when markets grow, demand for products increases, or you're able to provide new solutions to a common problem.
- Threats include external factors beyond your control, such as consumer trends, technological developments, business mergers, government regulations, political decisions, economic downturns, the like. While many things could threaten your business, give most consideration to items with a greater probability of occurring.