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SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. Used in a business
context, it helps you carve a sustainable niche in your market. Used in a personal context, it helps
you develop your career in a way that takes best advantage of your talents, abilities and
opportunities.
Call Premiercallcentre.co.uk who is an independent advisory Call Centre for SWOT business
management and all other business matters.
SWOT analysis is a tool for auditing an organization and its environment. It is the first stage of
planning and helps marketers to focus on key issues. Strengths and weaknesses are internal
factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors. It involves specifying the objective of the
business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and
unfavorable to achieving that objective.
In SWOT, strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. For example: strength could be:

Your specialist marketing expertise.

A new, innovative product or service.

Location of your business.

Quality processes and procedures.

Any other aspect of your business that adds value to your product or service.

A weakness could be:

Lack of marketing expertise.

Undifferentiated products or services (i.e. in relation to your competitors).

Location of your business.

Poor quality goods or services.

Damaged reputation.

In SWOT, opportunities and threats are external factors. For example: An opportunity could be:

A developing market such as the Internet.

Mergers, joint ventures or strategic alliances.

Moving into new market segments that offer improved profits.

A new international market.

A market vacated by an ineffective competitor.

A threat could be:

A new competitor in your home market.

Price wars with competitors.

A competitor has a new, innovative product or service.

Competitors have superior access to channels of distribution.

Taxation is introduced on your product or service.

A word of caution, SWOT analysis can be very subjective. Do not rely on SWOT too much. Two
people rarely come-up with the same final version of SWOT. TOWS analysis is extremely
similar. It simply looks at the negative factors first in order to turn them into positive factors. Use
SWOT as guide and not a prescription.

Simple rules for successful SWOT analysis

Be realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of your organization when conducting
SWOT analysis.

SWOT analysis should distinguish between where your organization is today, and where
it could be in the future.

SWOT should always be specific. Avoid grey areas.

Always apply SWOT in relation to your competition i.e. better than or worse than your
competition.

Keep your SWOT short and simple. Avoid complexity and over analysis

SWOT is subjective.

Once key issues have been identified with your SWOT analysis, they feed into marketing
objectives. SWOT can be used in conjunction with other tools for audit and analysis, such as

PEST analysis and Porter's Five - Forces analysis. So SWOT is a very popular tool with
marketing students because it is quick and easy to learn. During the SWOT exercise, list factors
in the relevant boxes. It's that simple.

Strategic Use: Orienting SWOTs to an Objective


A SWOT analysis must first start with defining a desired end state or objective. Call
Premiercallcentre.co.uk who can help you incorporate SWOT planning.
A SWOT analysis may be incorporated into the strategic planning model. An example of a
strategic planning technique that incorporates an objective-driven SWOT analysis is Strategic
Creative Analysis (SCAN). Strategic Planning, including SWOT and SCAN analysis, has been
the subject of much research.

Strengths: attributes of the person or company that is helpful to achieving the objective.

Weaknesses: attributes of the person or company that is harmful to achieving the


objective.

Opportunities: external conditions that is helpful to achieving the objective.

Threats: external conditions which could do damage to the objective.

Identification of SWOTs is essential because subsequent steps in the process of planning for
achievement of the selected objective may be derived from the SWOTs.

First, the decision makers have to determine whether the objective is attainable, given the
SWOTs. If the objective is NOT attainable a different objective must be selected and the process
repeated.
The SWOT analysis is often used in academia to highlight and identify strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats. It is particularly helpful in identifying areas for development.
Creative Use of SWOTs: Generating Strategies
If, on the other hand, the objective seems attainable, the SWOTs are used as inputs to the creative
generation of possible strategies, by asking and answering each of the following four questions,
many times:

How can we Use and capitalize on each Strength?

How can we improve each Weakness?

How can we Exploit and Benefit from each Opportunity?

How can we mitigate each Threat?

Ideally a cross-functional team or a task force that represents a broad range of perspectives
should carry out the SWOT analysis. For example, a SWOT team may include an accountant, a
salesperson, an executive manager, an engineer, and an ombudsman.
Internal and external factors
The aim of any SWOT analysis is to identify the key internal and external factors that are
important to achieving the objective. These come from within the company's unique value chain.
SWOT analysis groups key pieces of information into two main categories:

Internal factors The strengths and weaknesses internal to the organization.

External factors The opportunities and threats presented by the external environment to
the organization. - Use a PEST or PESTLE analysis to help identify factors

The internal factors may be viewed as strengths or weaknesses depending upon their impact on
the organization's objectives. What may represent strengths with respect to one objective may be
weaknesses for another objective. The factors may include all of the 4P's; as well as personnel,
finance, manufacturing capabilities, and so on. The external factors may include macroeconomic
matters, technological change, legislation, and socio-cultural changes, as well as changes in the
marketplace or competitive position. The results are often presented in the form of a matrix.
SWOT analysis is just one method of categorization and has its own weaknesses. For example, it
may tend to persuade companies to compile lists rather than think about what is actually
important in achieving objectives. It also presents the resulting lists uncritically and without clear
prioritization so that, for example, weak opportunities may appear to balance strong threats.
It is prudent not to eliminate too quickly any candidate SWOT entry. The importance of
individual SWOTs will be revealed by the value of the strategies it generates. A SWOT item that
produces valuable strategies is important. A SWOT item that generates no strategies is not
important.
Use of SWOT Analysis
The usefulness of SWOT analysis is not limited to profit-seeking organizations. SWOT analysis
may be used in any decision-making situation when a desired end-state (objective) has been
defined. Examples include: non-profit organizations, governmental units, and individuals. SWOT
analysis may also be used in pre-crisis planning and preventive crisis management. SWOT
analysis may also be used in creating a recommendation during a viability study.

Internal Analysis
The internal analysis is a comprehensive evaluation of the internal environment's potential
strengths and weaknesses. Factors should be evaluated across the organization in areas such as:

Company culture

Company image

Organizational structure

Key staff

Access to natural resources

Position on the experience curve

Operational efficiency

Operational capacity

Brand awareness

Market share

Financial resources

Exclusive contracts

Patents and trade secrets

The SWOT analysis summarizes the internal factors of the firm as a list of strengths and
weaknesses.
External Analysis
An opportunity is the chance to introduce a new product or service that can generate superior
returns. Opportunities can arise when changes occur in the external environment. Many of these
changes can be perceived as threats to the market position of existing products and may
necessitate a change in product specifications or the development of new products in order for
the firm to remain competitive. Changes in the external environment may be related to:

Customers

Competitors

Market trends

Suppliers

Partners

Social changes

New technology

Economic environment

Political and regulatory environment

The last four items in the above list are macro-environmental variables, and are addressed in a
PEST analysis.
The SWOT analysis summarizes the external environmental factors as a list of opportunities and
threats. If your business needs help, call Premiercallcentre.co.uk whom are a professional call
centre operations that is an expert in SWOT services. Our staff whom are based in our UK site,
are on hand to answer your call and help you. We have proven track record in delivering a whole
range of SWOT handling.