SWOT analysis or SWOT matrix is a tried and tested tool for strategic planning. The technique used to aid a person or organization to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business competition or project planning. It is a key part of any business and strategic planning which helps you to carve a niche in the market. SWOT stands for
Strengths and weaknesses are the two internal factors while opportunities and threats are the two external factors. Professor Albert Humphrey designed the first SWOT Analysis in the 1960s and 1970s using the data from Fortune 500 companies.
SWOT is an acronym for the four parameters the technique examines.
Qualities or characteristics of a business or project that give the same advantage over the others. In other words specializations of the firm or project that separate it from the so-called competitors.
Qualities or characteristics of a business or project that places the firm in a vulnerable position. It may be a lack of resources or limited resources in comparison with the other firms.
Opportunities are the right set of circumstances that a business or a project could exploit to its advantage. In simple words, it is the emanation of a high demand for your product or idea that can take your company to ascend heights. This can be done by marking or highlighting the openings in the market place. These are usually caused by market fluctuations and trends.
Always remember not every opportunity is right for a company at the moment. The strengths and weaknesses should be considered before assessing these opportunities.
Threats are the hazards or menaces the company or firm in question or a project or business could face landing the same in a precarious position leading to the decline of the same. It may be market fluctuations, government regulations, public opinions. You need to know how to tackle these threats for smooth sailing.
Identification of SWOT is pivotal as it may lay a solid foundation for the achievement of the objectives. But the strategists should ensure if the objectives are attainable and not utopian. If the objects are unattainable or out of reach let the strategists select another objective and the process ought to be repeated.
Getting the SWOT analysis done is the first step of a thorough understanding of the business or project. This is the foundation for a strong business as it is vital for its success in the long run as it helps in deciding whether or not to embark on venture or a strategy by focusing the pros and cons. In simple words, it makes easier to decide whether or not to move forward.
How To Do A Swot Analysis:
SWOT analysis is done by a SWOT diagram.
- Create four boxes with enough space to accommodate 6-7 points on a paper or a whiteboard. Keep the SWOT diagram brief.
- Extreme detailing not needed. Just focus on vital points
- The strengths and weaknesses row should make you focus on what the company can control. Think of ways to channelize your strengths.
- The external factors row should make you focus on the implementation of Policies et al that is beyond the control. Weed out the bottlenecks that can be the hindrance to the success of your firm now as well as in the future.
- Feedback from employees, partners, and customers for a varied perspective which results in a more thorough analysis.
- The core objectives of the firm should be of utmost priority and kept in mind.
- Draft an action plan in the order of the most important factors to the least which helps you to prioritize the action plan to proceed further.
Do’s And Don’ts In Swot Analysis:
- Keep SWOT analysis accessible for future references.
- SWOT analysis needs to be updated regularly.
- The SWOT analysis can be revised quarterly or yearly. Never let the SWOT analysis to stagnate
Assignments On Swot And Business
Students of Business Management, Marketing or Human resources face the foremost challenge of completing an assignment on SWOT analysis. It is usually assigned to the students early on the course making it difficult for the students to figure out what exactly it is. Many assignments are available on the web of 1000s of companies, colleges, industries, and sectors. But unfortunately, they are expired or in simpler words, they contain out of date data. Because the external factors keep changing though some may stay stagnant. So it is a bad idea to copy research from others done in past months and it may prove disastrous for the students aiming higher grades. SWOT is a greatly undervalued underused management tool which deserves to be a core skill. But SWOT is a robust and flexible tool.
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