SWOT analysis is an excellent self analytical tool to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT analysis framework provides a good background to review the position, strategies, and ideas of the organization. This analysis is used in organizations for business planning, competitor evaluation, development of business and product, marketing, research, and strategic planning. To evaluate all these, a template will be of great help. The templates are like guides that help in listing down the factors that affect an individual or a group. This is also known as situational analysis if used by an organization for evaluating the competitors and partners in a particular situation.
Why is SWOT Analysis Important?
The template is in the form of a grid that is further divided into four different sections. Each one of the sections are referred to as strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats, respectively. The analysis of this matrix helps you in developing the strategies to exploit and utilize the inner strength in the best possible way and work on the internal weaknesses. Strength and weaknesses are the internal components of an individual as well as for an organization. Whereas, opportunities and threats are for analyzing the external factors that directly or indirectly affect an individual or an organization.
In simple terms, we can say that SWOT matrix helps us in generating data or information to match the goals, mission, capabilities, capacities, and environment of an individual or a group. In a personal template, strength comprises tangible and intangible positive attributes, that are internal and within our control, weakness includes the factors that too are in our control, but distract or obstruct us from achieving our goals. This analysis indirectly helps in building confidence as well. Opportunities are the external factors that attract us and give us a reason to work hard and develop to achieve them and last comes the threats that are external factors that not in our control and can hamper the personal goals. Following are the examples where this analysis can be used for evaluating the four mentioned aspects.
A Few Examples
- An idea for a business
- Potential competitors and partners
- A brand or product
- Opportunities for acquisition
- A company
- Strategic options for launching a new product
- A procedure or method
- A service being outsourced
- Opportunities for investment
- Career opportunities
- What are you good at?
- What resources do you have?
- What are the positive things that others like in you?
- What are the areas in which you need improvement?
- What are the resources that you lack?
- What others do not like in you?
- What are the opportunities open for you?
- What are the areas that can be good for you?
- How can you convert your strengths into opportunities?
- What can harm you?
- Who are the competitors?
- What kind of threats can be there because of your weaknesses?
So, we can see that if the analysis is realistically conducted, one can take advantage of the strengths, opportunities can be utilized efficiently, and the threats and weaknesses can be reduced to improve the overall functioning of an organization, as well as of an individual. This method can be used in another way also that is, matching and converting. Matching is done to explore the advantages and converting is to transform the weaknesses into strengths. Other than this, some team building and individual games especially designed for SWOT analysis can also be used.