What is SWOT Analysis?

By University Alliance

SWOT analysis is a business analysis process that ensures that objectives for a project are clearly defined and that all factors related to the project are properly identified. The SWOT analysis process involves four areas: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Both internal and external components are considered when doing SWOT Analysis, as they both have the potential to impact the success of a project or venture. The following is a brief summary of SWOT Analysis components:

  1. Strengths
    Strengths in SWOT analysis are the attributes within an organization that are considered to be necessary for the ultimate success of a project. Strengths are resources and capabilities that can be used for competitive advantage. Examples of strengths that are often cited include:
    • Strong brand names
    • Good reputation
    • Cost advantages of proprietary know-how
  2. Weaknesses
    The factors within the SWOT analysis formula that could prevent successful results within a project are Weaknesses. Weaknesses include factors such as an abundance of rivalry between departments, a weak internal communication system, lack of funding and an inadequate amount of materials. Weaknesses can derail a project before it even begins. Other Weaknesses include:
    • Weak brand name
    • Poor reputation
    • Ineffective and high cost structure
  3. Opportunities
    Opportunities are classified as external elements that might be helpful in achieving the goals set for the project. These factors could involve vendors who wish to work with the company to help achieve success, the positive perception of the company by the general public, and market conditions that could make the project desirable to the a segment of the market. Additional Opportunities include:
    • Arrival of new technology
    • Unfulfilled customer needs
    • Taking business courses (training)
  4. Threats
    These external factors could gravely affect the success of the project or business venture. The possible threats that are critical to any SWOT analysis include a negative public image, no ready-made market for the final product and the lack of vendors who are able to supply raw materials for the project. Some other threats include:
    • Trend changes
    • New regulations
    • New substitute products

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Category: Business Administration