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SWOT Analysis

If used correctly, SWOT analyses can provide volumes of information about the circumstances that an organization or venture finds itself in. One benefit of using a SWOT analysis (as opposed to other business analysis tools) is its inherent simplicity — all there is to do is list the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and you’ll find yourself with plenty of worthy insight.

  • Strengths

    The first letter in the SWOT acronym is S, which stands for ‘Strengths.’ Strengths are a property of every organization or venture which answer the question “What do we do well?” or “What is good about us/our product?”
  • Weaknesess

    Every organization or venture has its weaknesses — things that they don’t do so well (or even do poorly), or things that aren’t so good about them/it. Weaknesses are particularly noteworthy if they prevent you from achieving your ‘mission’ (even if that’s just earning money), or make doing so more difficult. This might mean unnecessarily leaking finances, improperly targeting clients, or poorly executing a service, among other things.
  • Opportunities

    Opportunities are a combination of different circumstances at a given time that offer a positive outcome, if taken advantage of. The key word in this definition is ‘circumstances’, because opportunities are said to be external. That means that, unlike with Strengths, however hard anyone tries they cannot ‘create’ opportunities — they can only choose how to position themselves to gain maximum benefit from them, or whether or not to grasp for them.
  • Threats

    In business analysis, Threats are anything that could cause damage to your organization, venture, or product. This could include anything from other companies (who might intrude on your market), to supply shortages (which might prevent you from manufacturing a product).
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