Conducting A Successful SWOT Analysis

Access our SWOT analysis breakdown and get a better understandings of your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats!

Conducting A Successful SWOT Analysis by Downtown Digital

What is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a vital market research tool that small business owners need to include in their situational analysis

The SWOT analysis is used to assess a business’s internal operations and the external market landscape that affects it. 

It can be an extremely useful way to identify and visualize your brand’s positioning and figure out how to innovate your business operations.

SWOT Analysis Graph

Here is an example of the SWOT Analysis graph. As you can see, it visually represents your business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunies and threats in an easy to digest way!

What does SWOT stand for?

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It can be visualized on a chart with four quadrants. 

These four quadrants are positioned in a way so that the internal factors (your business’s strengths and weaknesses) are on the top and the external factors (the market opportunities and threats) are on the bottom. 

The positioning of these quadrants also results in the positive factors (your businesses strengths and the market opportunities) are on the left and the negative factors (your business’s weaknesses and the market threats) are on the right.

How to conduct a SWOT analysis

The SWOT analysis is a powerful tool that can help you to assess your business, market, and competition. By identifying your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, you can develop strategies to improve your business. 

Learn more about the individual quadrants of the SWOT analysis and how they fit together to create a holistic understanding of your small business’s competitive landscape!

Analyse your market landscape and internal business operations.

The first step when conducting a SWOT analysis is doing extensive market research of your business’s internal and external environment. You will need to gather information on your micro and macro environment and understand the differences between them.

It is crucial to complete your research before devising a business strategy as it generates crucial insights into how your business can succeed and what it needs to watch out for. 

SWOT Analysis layout

Begin by laying out your SWOT analysis skeleton with space to add your information.

Outline your business strengths

Once you have gathered this research and information, you can begin to outline your business's strengths. These are the factors that give your business an advantage over others in the market. 

Examples of business strengths could include a strong online presence, a loyal customer base, having products or services that solve people's problems, or a competitive pricing strategy.

Once you have identified your business’s strengths, you will need to add them to your SWOT analysis graph. Remember, the strengths go into the top left quadrant of the graph.

Outline your business weaknesses

Next, you will want to identify your business's weaknesses. These are the factors that could be holding your business back or making it less competitive.

Examples of business weaknesses could include a small customer base, a lack of differentiation, high prices, or a weak brand.

Now add your business’s weaknesses to your SWOT analysis graph. This time, add your weaknesses to the top right quadrant of the graph.

Outline your business opportunities

After identifying your business's strengths and weaknesses, you can begin to look at the opportunities that are available to you. These are the factors that could help your business grow or become more successful. 

Examples of business opportunities could include a new target market, a new customer base, a new product, or a new technology.

Now add your opportunities to the bottom left quadrant of your SWOT analysis.

Outline your business threats

Finally, you will want to identify the threats that are facing your business. These are the factors that could hurt your business or make it less successful. 

Examples of business threats could include a new competitor, a change in consumer tastes, a new technology, or an economic recession.

Great, you can now complete your SWOT analysis graph and properly visualize your business internal and external situation!

SWOT Analysis Diagram

Now you can see the internal and exteranl factors affecting your business. You will also be able to see your business's positives and negatives on opposite sides of the SWOT analysis graph to easily differentiate betweren them!

Summary of the SWOT analysis

Once you have identified all the significant Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats facing your business, you can begin to develop informed brand strategies to address them. These strategies could include marketing campaigns, new product development, price changes, or internal organizational changes.

Always refer back to your SWOT analysis graph. Your business advantages will always be on the top of the graph and your business risks will be on the bottom.

You are also one step closer to completing your situational analysis. Head on to the next step: Setting SMART Goals!

Get assistance with your business research & analysis!

Downtown Digital is ready to assist with your market research and analysis needs. Contact us to get help figuring out your brand’s position in the market!

You can also get access to all our other brand analysis tools here. If you would like to receive our small business guides and resources in your inbox you can sign up to the Downtown Gazette here.

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