SWOT analysis is a tool used by businesses to evaluate their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT analysis can help a business to weigh all its present, past and future opportunities, strengths, weaknesses and threats in such a way that it can help not only in evaluating them but also to solve some of its problems and serve its customers better. SWOT analysis can be used by any business in any situation.
SWOT analysis is mostly used by marketing division of a business to explore new markets and also to capture good share in the existing markets. But, it can also be used by strategy management to set corporate goals and objectives.
A SWOT analysis can be done by writing down the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in a 2×2 matrix format.
Company A SWOT Analysis
Let us look at each of the items that fall under SWOT analysis
Strengths: Strengths of a business include the past experience, the knowledge that the employees and the managers of a business have accumulated over the years, the pace at which a process or a project can be completed by the organization, number of employees, the quality of work put up by employees, the resources of the business, certain ‘know-how’, patents, goodwill, etc. Most strengths of a business are generally internal in nature.
Weaknesses: Weaknesses of a business can also be internal in nature. These can include the lack of knowledge in certain area or industry, lack of past experience, lack of qualified and/or skilled employees, lack of ‘know-how’, etc. Generally, any business which is venturing into a new industry will always have problems and issues that can turn into weaknesses. But, it is a perseverance of the business to overcome such and other weaknesses in itself can be regarded as winning.
Opportunities: Opportunities are mostly external in nature. One has to have an open eye to look for opportunities. And sometimes, it can be pretty hard to find one opportunity. A business must be open to venture into new markets to explore the opportunities. A business in one industry might want to explore new markets in a related industry. This can be an opportunity. A very good example can be Apple Inc. venturing into phone and music player making from being a computer manufacturer.
Threats: Threats can also be mostly external. After trying to venture into a new market, a rival business can enter into the market with a similar and cheaper product. This can be a threat to the first business. Apart from this threat, there can be threats from the new market itself. A business venturing into a new country can face such problems without prior study of the market conditions.
SWOT analysis is a simple and highly useful tool for understanding the big picture without any fuss or mess up. It is a starting point for undertaking more and more complex analyses that help in building a strategy for a business.
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