What is a SWOT Analysis and Why You Need it for Business Success

by | Aug 10, 2020 | 0 comments

SWOT is a self-analysis of your business. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Are your biases being played out and have you curbed your own shortcomings? This addresses many business initiatives. Here’s how:

SWOT Analysis Process

  1. Prepare a grid.
  2. Consider the 4Ms (Money, Marketing, Momentum, Management) and then fill in how each falls under the SWOT categories.
  3. Consider also: products/services, branding/marketing, finance/funding, team building/HR, innovation, operations, competition, economic climate, etc.
  4. Be thoughtful, objective and truthful in filling out the grid. Get other people’s opinions.
  5. Be realistic when determining the opportunities section as well as the competition.

Having said that, your competition may be your biggest threat. Who are they? Check their websites and their marketing efforts. Consequently, if you do more than what they are doing, you will soon take them out of the “threat” box.

Then, based on the information, ask yourself: what are my long-term and immediate goals and/or next steps? What can I change? Is it an easy fix? What will take more research? Is something impossible or is it doable with a little extra work? Set SMART goals for each task that you have ahead of you. Make sure each goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Use this SWOT analysis worksheet from SCORE. It’s simple, easy and it WORKS.

“cSWOT” Analysis in Times of Crisis & Uncertainty

A SWOT analysis is particularly important during times of crisis and uncertainty. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies, large and small, have revisited SWOT because of the external impacts. This is Crisis SWOT (cSWOT). This type of SWOT concentrates on four business categories: Customers, Employees, Revenue, and Processes. 

Consequently, a SWOT analysis should be conducted to ensure your business will be able to withstand the crisis and emerge stronger. Moreover, don’t forget to check to see how your major competitors have reacted to the crisis. How have they pivoted? Has their marketing message changed?

In conclusion, combining a SWOT analysis with the 4Ms provides the best and quickest way to determine the financial and competitive status of any size company.

By Jim Lavorato

Jim Lavorato is the founder of 4M Performance which is designed to assist businesses to survive and thrive in these uncertain times. Jim launched an entertainment-related company in 1988. He was at the forefront in cinema technology and helped spearhead the movie industry's transition to digital presentation and distribution. He also co-founded the Arboreal Group, an environmental consultancy. He has published articles on the motion picture and media industries and is a contributing editor for ScreenTrade magazine and writes a blog "Cinema Mucho Gusto". He is a certified SCORE Mentor in the SCORE Greater Phoenix Chapter and lives in Scottsdale, AZ. Learn more about Jim in his "About" page.

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