S.W.O.T. Analysis

What is a SWOT Analysis?

A S.W.O.T. Analysis, is a report which helps find direction for growth and competitive actions. This Analysis requires a great understanding of the broad economy and the specific industry.  A successful report will accurately assess one’s own organization to others regarding relevant actions, efforts and participants.  S.W.O.T. stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Free PDF SWOT Analysis Exercise

A SWOT Analysis can be a single highly detailed report that coordinates with multiple departments. It can also be detailed relevant section supporting a report more focused on a specific plan of action, or report.

The Essence of What SWOT Plan Will Study

Some Questions the report should be able to answer.

  • Designate a Market Leader – This can be established around any variety of factors. Who has the most market share, sales, brand equity, etc.
  • Gauge how Competent Your Organization is in key areas, such as: Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Accounting, Distribution, Quality, etc. How does your organization compete in these major business areas versus others.
  • Gauge Strategies for Key Areas

Why It Helps

After you have looked at your key departments , and their operations it should help you see the direction they are heading while also. adopting industry standards. How are the strategies your departments are using and how do they  compare to the designated market leader?  How current are these strategies, and are these departments using the latest technologies?  What is available to support other strategies, and what is not available that could burden other strategies.

Management needs to exceed or needs to improve. Managers have a strong role in operations, and the strength of the managers can be a weakness or strength and investment into management can be a risk or an opportunity.  If your competitors invest into their employees it is a risk, investment in ones employees and establishing a culture between can be an opportunity.

What Costs Advantages exists and where?  Has the organization reached economies of scale with a product, or are they creating cost advantages for our organization?

Costs Advantages are linked to effective economies of scale or the discount for buying items in bulk and before price increases.

Costs Advantages are created with contracts as well. Such is one between online retailers like Amazon has with the United States Postal Service.  Costs Advantages can occur within operations.  Better technology, effective training procedures, change in production;  this could be the big move from manual record keeping to software like Quick books and Xero for accounting departments.  Cheaper materials, and more output from production process are common strategies for cost advantages.


Competitive Analysis is a strong source of information and reference behind the Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat Report.  Most threats will be an advantage to a competing organization or a disadvantage for your own.

Competitive analysis requires research into competitors.  Information can be obtained from 10k reports if the company is publicly listed, the blog or website, or sales channel/store.  The objective here is to find real data in terms of financial health, customer reviews, press releases regarding future projects, management, or other useful information.

The other half is more research into the industry with available and relevant technologies.

As much info regarding the inventory, feedback, projects should be obtained from available sources as possible.

Sources for information are available

  • Online stores
  • Feedback ratings
  • Company websites
  • 10k reports

How is your image to the market in terms of value, quality, and our competitors?

An organization needs to determine how they are seen in market in terms of quality. Are they a low cost substitute for another good, and how are they impacted by being the market leader in comparison to their current/available positions.

What organization is seen as being the top competitor and what is it that brings it to the top of perceived value, and what would your organization need to acquire a similar standing? Are these technologies, agreements, operations, in your reach, and if not how could they be?

Competitor analysis will yield useful information and remains a crucial half of a good SWOT analysis.

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