Doing a SWOT analysis is one of the fundamental activities that need done before starting your business. A SWOT analysis will help you determine where to best allocate things like funds, time and labor. It also helps you determine what your next big steps should be. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. They’re based solely off of you and your brand or business. Opportunities and threats, on the other hand, are external. These are things that you have no control over whatsoever. This is important to note because threats and weaknesses often get confused with each other, as do strengths and opportunities.
So your strengths are things that your organization does exceptionally well, things that separate you from your competitors. So analyze what it is that you do best and take advantage of it every opportunity you get.
When you’re going through your weaknesses it’s important to be honest with yourself. A SWOT analysis is only useful if it’s accurate. So think about things you can improve on in your business. For things you just cannot do, set aside time later to see how you can outsource those things.
Opportunities are openings or chances for something good to happen within your business. For example, during COVID a lot of entrepreneurs are switching to virtual versions of operations. If you’re an IT tech there’s an opportunity for you to increase business because more people now will need tech support.
Threats are anything happening in your society or community that could negatively affect your business. To use our COVID example again, if your supply chain has links in multiple different companies then the interruption of shipping items would be a threat for you.
In addition to your SWOT, you’ll also want to assess and analyze who your competitors are exactly. It’ll help you in knowing how exactly you’re different so you can figure out how to use the information you find doing your SWOT to create a competitive edge.