The strengths and weaknesses of a SWOT analysis focus on the current market position of a business in relation to its:
- Customers – is the business meeting the needs of its target markets
- Competitors- is the business offering a better way of meeting customer needs compared with its competitors
- Internal resources- is the business making effective use of its internal resources to meet customer needs and deal with competition
The opportunities and threats of a SWOT analysis focus on the future market position of a business.
- Use the strengths and limit the weaknesses to help plan for future development, marketing strategies and activities.
- Opportunities and threats should grow out of an objective consideration of the real strengths and weaknesses of the business.
- Specific information must be collated before the process begins and personnel need to adopt a truly objective position if the process is to be successful and worthwhile.
The main purpose of a SWOT analysis:
- Identify market opportunities
- To avoid complacency about market position – a self evaluating organization
- As a safety check before embarking on major new project
- As a response to change – change of director might initiate a SWOT analysis to gauge the strength of the team.
- There is no set procedure for carrying out a SWOT analysis but care must be taken to identify weaknesses if the process is to serve its purpose.
A weakness may purely be lack of information, or lack of suitably qualified staff.