Using a SWOT Analysis for Your Small Business

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats are the four components that make up a SWOT analysis, which is a guideline that many companies use to assess how well they are doing overall. Here are some more specifics regarding doing this type of analysis, as well as the benefits that can come from performing this type of analysis on a regular basis. 

Assessing Strengths

Many people find it to be easier to list what they are doing poorly than to list what they are doing well. However, one of the important components of a SWOT analysis is knowing your company’s strengths so that you can continue to bring those strengths to your business. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • What types of advertising do customers best respond to?
  • What products sell the most?
  • Why do employees like working for your company? 

Once you have some strengths in mind, it is easier to continue with the rest of the analysis. 

Determining Weaknesses

Looking at what your business does not do well is never a fun task. Think about some of the challenges that you have dealt with over the past year and determine whether any of those hurdles were due to existing problems within the company. Once you identify your weaknesses, you can start to change and improve. 

Looking for Opportunities

This part of the SWOT analysis includes looking at areas in that your company does well and seeking ways to improve those. For example, if you own a small health food store and you notice that sales of plant-based cheese are increasing, look into the viability of carrying more plant-based cheese products in the store. 

Being Aware of Threats

Regardless of the industry that you are in, chances are you have many competitors who are vying for the same customers as you. Remain aware of what your competitors are doing on social media. Also, remain cognizant of what is happening in the economy and whether or not customers might start to cut down on purchasing certain items. 

Benefits of SWOT Analysis

By assessing your SWOT regularly, a company can continually make improvements to the way they do business and interact with customers. Taking a look at the big picture can be especially beneficial to new businesses that may be busy with hiring employees and securing funding

Whether you are new to SWOT analyses or are an experienced entrepreneur, these tips can be helpful the next time you need to assess how well your business is doing. 


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