Business SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a simple, yet powerful, planning technique used to create ways to strengthen, modify and improve your business – and the only cost is your time!

All you need to get going is piece of paper divided in four equal boxes headed with ‘Strengths’, ‘Weaknesses’, ‘Opportunities’ and ‘Threats’. Then, take a good, hard look at your business, the industry and your competitors and list both internal and external factors relevant to each section.

When considering your company’s Strengths, think of the things you do well – from both your own perspective and that of your customer. Try listing the reasons a new customer recently came on board. Remember, don’t include anything that is ‘industry standard’ as these are a given and not a strength specific to you. Strengths could include:

  • What you do better than anyone else in the market
  • Your USP
  • Your skilled, creative or knowledgeable staff
  • Your tangible assets
  • Your pricing structure

Being self-critical and honest when listing your company’s Weaknesses can, and will be, tough. But view this as an essential exercise which will reveal what is holding your business back and that can only benefit you in the long term.

Consider internal weaknesses within your company as well as the reason why potential customers didn’t come on board or previous customers went elsewhere.

  • Resource limitations
  • Out of date marketing strategy
  • Poor customer service
  • Things competitors do better than you
  • Lack of USP in a crowded market

Opportunities are openings in your company’s strengths that could be exploited as well as factors in your weaknesses that could be erased. You could also find ways to exploit new opportunities in the form of future events, upcoming trends and changes in technology and lifestyles. Examples of opportunities could include:

  • Promote an undersold USP
  • Growth of the internet as a marketplace
  • Underserved market for specific products
  • Emergence of new technology
  • Strategic partnerships

The final element of a SWOT analysis is Threats – these are everything that poses a risk to either your company itself or its chance of success or growth.

  • Changes in lifestyle/trends
  • Emerging competitors
  • Break in the supply chain
  • A pandemic

If you find it difficult to produce a SWOT, ask somebody you trust to help, this could be a business friend, customer or supplier.

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more business advice get in touch with our expert* Neil on LinkedIn?

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.