Marketing Basics: SWOT Analysis

Monday, December 11, 2017

If you don’t have a degree in marketing, you’ve probably heard about a SWOT analysis and just played along as if you studied such nonsense in your coursework.

The odd thing is that most people have done a SWOT analysis because it’s such a common sense thing to do, you just didn’t have a fancy name for it before.

It’s pretty straight forward. You just look at 4 areas. So, take out a piece of paper.

Draw a horizontal line across the middle. Draw a vertical line down the middle. Each box has a part to play.

Box 1 - Strengths

First and foremost, you need to look at the strengths that this idea has. Consider how it fits into your current plans and operations. Perhaps it strengthens your overall position in the marketplace (more on that coming next month). If you thought of it, there’s a reason. Write all of those things down.

Box 2 - Weaknesses

Every great idea has a weakness. What are the areas that you haven’t fleshed out just yet? Maybe you have overlooked the packaging or presentation of this new product. There are areas that are weak because you haven’t looked at them and there are areas that are weak because the idea might not be as strong as you thought.

Box 3 - Opportunities

What does this new idea bring to your business that didn’t exist before? Does it expand into a new market? Does it appeal to a wider audience? Does it give you a signature? Chances are, if there aren’t enough opportunities, you might need to add this to the scrap heap.

Box 4 - Threats

The most frightening of all the boxes is the last. What are the threats that are out there? Perhaps you have a competitor who already offers this product or service. Maybe you’ve even tried this in the past and your customers hated it. Here’s where you actually have to write down all the ways this could go wrong.

That’s it: A basic SWOT Analysis. Throw this tool around to impress your friends and you’ll be a hit at all the dinner parties. At least, you can impress the loan officer at the bank, a potential investor, or a customer that is dragging their feet before jumping on board.