If you’ve been in a business environment for many years, you may have heard of the SWOT method for analyzing problems, projects or the business model in general. This simple, yet handy method is a great tool for any businessperson to have in their arsenal. It’s time to lock and load and get this tool working for you!
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and it’s a great way to look at any project in question from many different angles, rather than seeing it from just your perspective.
These are the assets your project or business has coming into the analysis. These strengths can be anything from a unique product on the market or having venture capital secured for your business. List all of the items and skills you and your staff have that can only make this project or business more stable and assure its success.
What does your company lack? These are the weaknesses that it has. They can become a liability down the road, so it’s best that you address them in this analysis so that you are aware of their existence and can overcome these weaknesses. These weaknesses can be anything from an unclear company structure and hierarchy to a lack of proper equipment.
Opportunities typically come directly from the strengths that you listed previously. For example, if you’ve got a unique product, then your opportunity lies in the fact that you will be the sole producer of this item for a while and can charge a premium for the item. If you have secured venture capital, then there is an opportunity to invest extra money in proper infrastructure and the hiring of highly skilled professionals in your field.
What exists that could threaten the success of your project or company? These threats can come from your weaknesses or they can come from outside your company altogether. Perhaps your competition is ramping up to launch a product very similar to yours at a fraction of the cost. Maybe there has been some bad press surrounding your project recently. These are all threats that need to be overcome in order to achieve success.
Take the time to perform a SWOT analysis. You’ll be glad you did!