Home » Blog » Start Your Business » How To Use The SWOT Analysis For Your Business

How To Use The SWOT Analysis For Your Business

Ferial Working

As we move into the holiday season, it’s a great time to examine how your business (and marketing) is doing and where you want to go from here! One of the most useful tools to do this is the SWOT analysis. Everyone from high-level executives to entrepreneurs to families can use a SWOT analysis to determine what to focus on for the next level of growth. In this post, we’ll walk you through doing a SWOT analysis for your business goals and current marketing campaigns. This will set you up for success as we enter one of the most highly lucrative times of the year! Let’s get to it.

What Is a SWOT Analysis?

Taking a long hard look at something that feels stuck, challenged, or unclear is difficult. That’s exactly why the SWOT analysis is so helpful. The framework of this business tool allows you to easily and quickly discern what exactly you need to do to reorient yourself, your business, or your marketing and sales initiatives in the right direction. The letters SWOT stand for: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Let’s go ahead and explore each of these individually.

Strengths

Recently, I was listening to a psychology podcast and the person getting interviewed said something interesting, “A successful therapist will ask their client not what’s broken, but rather, what’s working?” Essentially, the idea is that we have integral strengths within us, and so does your business. These strengths can be qualities but are not limited to qualities. Strengths can include tangible assets like technology or capital, as well as core players, like employees and partners. 

  • What does your business do very well?
  • What qualities separate you from your competitors?
  • What internal human resources and skills do you possess?
  • What assets do you possess that are useful and that you’re proud of?

Weaknesses

I’m going to encourage you to look at your weaknesses from the perspective of self-awareness, rather than criticism. Oftentimes what we think we’re not doing so well is rarely the actual problem. Rather, it’s our blind spots, the things we don’t really see clearly that seem to cause problems and bottlenecks. Look at your business from an objective and neutral perspective and ask:

  • What things could my business be better at?
  • What things do my competitors do much better than I do?
  • Which resources is my business lacking or short on?
  • What are the most unclear yet unique selling propositions?

Opportunities

One thing I’ve learned from experience is that true opportunities come from commitment. When we stay on our path and pivot when necessary, instead of giving up, we build strength. Strength builds momentum, and momentum brings opportunity. More than likely, there are opportunities ahead of you right now, even if you can’t see them!

  • What innovative ideas or developments is your business generating?
  • What underserved markets do you see for your specific services?
  • Which area of your industry do you see the fewest number of competitors in?
  • What emerging needs are you detecting for your products and services?
  • Which media channels do you see that need more coverage on your specific solutions?

Threats

The ability to calculate risks is an essential part of decision-making in business. Being prepared for the unknown, unexpected, and inevitable challenges that can befall any business (think pandemic!) prevents risks to the company and its growth. 

  • Who are the emerging competitors in your market right now?
  • What are the regulatory, legal, financial, or other changes happening in your business environment right now? 
  • What negative comments, reviews, press, or other social media coverage has your business received?
  • What are the changing customer attitudes towards your company?

Taking It To The Next Level

If you’ve finished this basic analysis, you can go a step further and break these groups into internal and external elements. The benefit of doing this is really leaving no stone unturned. Internal factors are considered things that are within your control as a business owner to change, while external factors are likely out of your control. As a business owner, this can help you take on a stronger leadership role and a more realistic perspective on what to expect in terms of growth, potential, and organizational change. 

Do you feel like you have clarity on what you need to do, but still struggle with implementing it? This is the #1 reason we recommend entrepreneurial growth networks like the Empower Group. When we work with others who have the thinking patterns of success we are able to accelerate our own business growth and set new goals for the future ahead. If you feel stuck, and need even more clarity, inspiration, or tools, strategies, and intensive training to catapult yourself to the next level, take advantage of our OFFER TO JOIN EMPOWER GROUP – 1 WEEK FREE —> CLICK HERE!