All sample plans start with an analysis of the situation. If that plan involves a business, the planning process usually begins with the said business taking a stock of their situation. One method of analysis for any business is the SWOT analysis. Whether it be for strategic plans, operational plans, or business plan, the SWOT analysis will surely come through.
A SWOT analysis is so named because of its components. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis identifies and analyzes these elements inside your business so that you can use it however you want. Also referred to as a SWOT matrix, this analysis is intended to specify the objectives of the business venture or project and recognize the internal and external factors that are advantageous and disadvantageous to achieving those objectives.
Printable Business Plan SWOT Analysis
Business Plan SWOT Analysis
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PEST and SWOT Analysis Template
The use of a professional SWOT analysis often involves asking and answering questions to generate information that is significant for each category to make the tool useful and recognize competitive advantages. Basically, the SWOT analysis is a simple tool that can help you identify which things are good for business and which ones are bad.
Uses of SWOT Analysis
As long as you are an organization that aims to have an understanding of your current standing, the SWOT analysis is for you. Thus, the usefulness of a SWOT analysis is not limited to organizations and companies seeking profits. SWOT analysis is especially useful in any situations that involve making a decision with a defined objective. Other uses of SWOT analysis are for pre-crisis planning and preventive crisis management, and for creating recommendations during a viability study or survey.
1. Strategy Building
A SWOT analysis should never be absent in the generation of a business plan. Through the SWOT analysis, the planners can knock out the initial step in most planning process and that is to take a stock of the situation. Taking a stock of the situation usually involves identifying both the positive and negative aspects relating to the business internally or externally. Such a process is definitely right at the alley of the SWOT analysis
2. Matching and Converting
Businesses do the matching process in order to find competitive advantages by matching perceived strengths to possible opportunities. Meanwhile, businesses do the converting process as a tactic to try and convert perceived weaknesses or threats into strengths and opportunities. However, not all threats can be converted, and thus, it is advisable to avoid those said threats. You may also see sample business SWOT analysis.
A SWOT analysis can be useful in helping to identify which threats can be avoided and which can be converted. It is a lot better than avoiding all threats that could have been turned into opportunities or converting those which are futile. You may also see business SWOT analysis.
3. Corporate Planning
Corporate planning is the use of a systematic and rigorous process to develop strategies and plans that enable an organization to achieve its objectives. With the help of a PEST (Political, Economic, Socio-cultural and Technological) or PESTEL (Political, Economic, Socio-cultural, Technological, Environmental and Legal) analysis, a can be used as a basis for the analysis of business and environmental factors. You may also see SWOT analysis in PDF.
SWOT Analysis Guide and Sample
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4. Strategy Building
SWOT analysis is an important aspect when creating a business strategy. One of the steps when creating a strategic plan is to take a stock of the situation. This involves identifying both the positive and negative aspects relating to the company, both within and outside it. This makes the SWOT analysis an integral part of the strategic planning process.
5. Matching and Converting
The matching process is done to find competitive advantages by matching perceived strengths to possible opportunities. Converting is another tactic to try to convert weaknesses or threats into strengths and opportunities. Not every threat can be converted to the least an organization can do is to minimize or avoid them. Sometimes, it is better to duck than to counter. You may also see HR SWOT analysis.
6. Corporate Planning
Corporate planning is the use of a systematic and rigorous process to develop strategies and plans that enable to an organization to achieve its objectives. The SWOT analysis when combined with a PEST (Political, Economic, Socio-cultural and Technological) or PESTEL (Political, Economic, Socio-cultural, Technological, Environmental and Legal) analysis can be used as a basis for the analysis of business and environmental factors. You may also see sample free SWOT analysis.
So, the PEST or PESTEL and the SWOT can:
- Set objectives
- Scan the environment
- Analyze existing strategies
- Define strategic issues
- Develop new/revised strategies
- Establish critical success factors
- Prepare plans (strategy, operational, resource, project) for the implementation of the strategy
- Monitor results
Aside from analyzing the company or organization that they are working for, marketers also conduct a competitive analysis, that is to analyze the competition. Any business is a competition and knowing who you are competing with should be a given. These analyses can be focused especially on their relative competitive strengths and weaknesses, which is just a job for the SWOT analysis.
Marketing managers can use the SWOT analysis to examine their competitor’s cost structure, the source of profits, resources, and competencies, competitive positioning and product differentiation, the degree of vertical integration, historical responses to developments in the industry, among other factors. Marketers use the SWOT analysis in different techniques to conduct market research. Some of which include
- Qualitative marketing research (focus groups)
- Quantitative marketing research (statistical surveys)
- Experimental techniques (test markets)
- Observational techniques (on-site observations)
SWOT Analysis in Strategic Management
Basic SWOT Analysis Template
Conducting a SWOT Analysis for Your Business Plan
A SWOT analysis might be a daunting task to undertake, but there are some who take great fun in doing it. Essentially, this SWOT analysis is a roadmap that can tell you as to which way you should move your business forward. It can tell you which opportunities you are currently missing out on and which challenges you should tackle. You may also like hotel SWOT analysis templates.
A SWOT analysis, therefore, is an effective method to maximize opportunities while minimizing negative factors related to your business. This is key in avoiding unnecessary errors down the road due to lack of insight. Thus, it is important to conduct a SWOT analysis in order to plan to seize business opportunities and sidestep potential threats. To conduct a SWOT analysis for your business plan follow the following steps. You can also read SWOT analysis in word.
1. Make a list of your company’s strengths and weaknesses and its opportunities and threats. In other words, identify your SWOT. You may also see competitor SWOT analysis templates.
2. Divide your strengths into two groups. One group should identify which can help you take advantage of upcoming business opportunities. The other should identify which strengths can help you mitigate or head off potential threats. You can also like SWOT analysis samples.
3. Similarly, divide your weaknesses into two groups. One group should compose weaknesses that require improvement before you can take advantage of opportunities. The other group should compose of those that are in dire need of overhauling and converting into strengths in order to avoid potential business. You may also see hospital SWOT analysis.
4. Use your list to concoct a business plan. With the help of the SWOT matrix, develop strategies and actions that can capitalize on opportunities and create plans for addressing the threats and weaknesses that could endanger the future of your business. Use the list as a guide when making decisions that contribute to your sample business plan.
SWOT Analysis Business Worksheet
Elements of a SWOT Analysis
As mentioned above, the SWOT in SWOT analysis stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These things are the elements needed in order to make a complete SWOT analysis. You may also see detailed SWOT analysis.
These are the attributes found within the business that are considered to be necessary for the overall success of a project or plan. These resources can be often used for competitive advantage. You may also see sample healthcare SWOT analysis.
These are attributes within a company that could prevent successful results for a project or plan. It is important to address these issues as soon as possible as they can derail a project before it can even begin. You may also see SWOT analysis tools.
These are external factors that can be taken advantage by the business in order to achieve its goals. Opportunities do not often last, as such, it is important to identify them immediately to make the most out of them. You may also see personal SWOT analysis templates.
These are external factors that could have grave effects on the success of the business. Threats are included in the SWOT analysis in order to identify them ahead of time and plan out how to approach them or avoid them completely. You may also see restaurant SWOT analysis templates.
Business SWOT Matrix Template
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In of itself, a SWOT analysis is a great tool for analyzing the attributes of a business. As such, all business plan should include them. It is important to conduct a SWOT analysis properly, honestly and clearly in order to get a clear and comprehensible result. Conducting a biased and dishonest SWOT could diminish its effects to the company, or worse bring it to a negative.
Also, it is important to revisit your SWOT analysis on a regular basis, whether annually or more frequently, in order to keep up with major changes in the field and observe how the balance of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats have changed. You want your SWOT analysis, and business plan to reflect the world around you as it is, not as it was. You may also see manager SWOT analysis.