How to Use a SWOT Analysis and Why It is Important to Stay Honest When Writing One

A well thought out business strategy can be the thing that you need to achieve your business’s vision. Your company is about you. You need to construct a strategy that works for your business specifically. A SWOT analysis can help you formulate a strategy. Your SWOT analysis consists of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Here is how you can use each component to create a successful strategy for your business.

Strengths

In order to concoct a strategy, you need to know where your strengths lie. Every business has its own set of strengths. Figure out what your advantages are in the market. Figure out why clients might choose you over another business. What do they like about you and your business? Do you have resources that your competitors don’t have?

Weaknesses

In order for your business strategy to work, you have to think about your own weaknesses. Be honest with yourself and what your business weaknesses are. This way you can decide what needs to be improved. Likewise, figure out what situations you should avoid. Are clients criticizing your business, if so, what are they saying? You can also look to your competitors for information. What do they normally do better than you do?

Opportunities

Next you want to analyze your opportunities. What opportunities are available to you? What opportunities may be available in the future? In analyzing your opportunities, you want to think about whether your weaknesses will hurt you in the end. Do you have anything that you need to work on so that you can take advantage of the opportunities?

Threats

The next step is to look at the external factors that might compromise your business. Look for changes in the market that might force you to adapt. Decide whether competitors pose a threat to your company. Does new technology put your business at risk? Do you have enough of a cash flow? Among all of the external factors, you also need to consider whether your weaknesses are going to negatively affect your business. Will they change your chances of survival?

When you’re writing a SWOT analysis, you need to be completely honest. If you lie then you won’t know what areas you can improve. You can’t develop a working business strategy for your company if you aren’t honest about your strengths and weaknesses. The more you pay attention to the truth, the more you can work towards improvement.

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