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Wodehouse Marketing Guide to Undertaking a SWOT Analysis For Your Business

Work in any business and you will hear people talk about undertaking a SWOT analysis. But what is a SWOT analysis, and how do you make the best use of one?

Here is our guide to putting together a meaningful SWOT analysis for your business and how you can best use the results.

Starting a SWOT analysis for your business

A thorough SWOT analysis will help develop your marketing strategy and plan. It is also essential for keeping any eye on the competition in the sectors your company operates.

SWOT stands for:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

To make sure you get the most out of your SWOT analysis follow these steps:

 1. Decide on the object of your SWOT analysis

Before you start your SWOT, you should have a question or objective in mind from the start. For example, you could use a SWOT analysis to help decide if you should introduce a new product or service into your existing market sector or even into a new market, or your might be looking to change your internal processes. Have a goal before you begin, that way you can properly focus and measure your analysis.

 2. Research your business, industry and market sector

Before you begin the SWOT, undertake some research to understand your business, industry and market. Get a range of perspectives, don’t just do it on your own. Talk to staff, business partners and clients. You should also conduct some market research to find out about your competitors.

 3. Strengths

List your organisation’s strengths.

  • What do you do well?
  • Where do have a competitive advantage?
  • What are the strengths of your core business? Eg. people, processes, existing clients, etc.

 4. Weakness

List your weaknesses.

  • Where do you need improvement as an organisation? 
  • Where are you at a competitive disadvantage? 
  • Are you lacking key staff/ team members or processes in your core business? 

Once you have listed them, make sure you address the weaknesses raised in your SWOT analysis. This list will indicate how your business has grown over time. When you review the SWOT analysis after a year, you may notice that your weaknesses have been resolved. You may see new weaknesses, but the fact that the old ones are gone is a good sign of progress.

 5. Oppourtunities 

Work through the opportunities that are available in your current or projected market.

  • Where do you see opportunities in your business? What services could you begin to provide as add-ons that are a natural fit?  Which competitors are weak, and can you go after their clients? It’s good to get the entire staff involved with this. They might just amaze you with their ideas, and it likely that they will see opportunities in the marketplace that you don't.

 6. Threats

What market conditions exist that are a challenge to your business? Are you in danger of becoming obsolete or replaced with new technologies? What strategies can you develop to counteract these?  What other potential problems exist? This might be the overall economy or changing demographic etc.

 7. What priorities are revealed from the SWOT

You will now have 4 seperate lists. Ideally, these lists can be displayed side-by-side so you can have an overall picture of how your business is running and what issues you need to address.

You can then work out what issues are the most important and what can be dealt with later.

 8. Build a strategy to address issues in the SWOT

Review your priorities and try and address the following:-

  • Use your strengths to take advantage of opportunities
  • Use these strengths to overcome the threats
  • Overcome the identified weaknesses to take advantage of opportunities
  • Minimise weaknesses to overcome threats

Once you have answered these questions and finalised your lists, you can now use the SWOT analysis to develop strategies for achieving your business marketing goals.

If you need help with any of these steps, or need to build a successful marketing campaign for your business, talk to us at Wodehouse Marketing.



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