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SWOT Analysis - Internal And External Factors

The intention of any SWOT analysis is to separate the key environmental factors that are significant to the marketing plans of the business. SWOT clusters key portions of information into two main categories:

  •  Internal aspects - The 'strengths' and 'weaknesses' internal to the business, i.e., its strategies and its position in relation to its competitors.

  •  External factors - The 'opportunities' and 'threats' caused by the external environment and the competition.

The internal aspects may be considered as strengths or weaknesses depending upon their effect on the company's positions. This means, they may symbolize a strength for one organization but a weakness, in relative terms, for a different. The external factors may comprise macroeconomic issues such as technological change, legislation, and socio-cultural changes, in addition to changes in the marketplace or competitive position. The results are often presented in the form of a matrix.

It should be kept in mind that a SWOT analysis is just one technique of categorization and has its own weaknesses. It is worth pointing out that SWOT analysis can be very subjective: Two people rarely come-up with the same version of a SWOT analysis even when given the same information about the same business and its environment. Accordingly, SWOT analysis is best used as a guide and not a prescription. Adding and weighting criteria to each factor increases the validity of the analysis.

The importance of individual SWOTs will be exposed by the value of the strategies it creates. A SWOT point that generates valuable strategies is central. A SWOT item that leads to no strategy is not relevant.


]]> (Administrator) SWOT Analysis Sun, 07 Jul 2013 12:09:43 +0000
Examples for Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats


We have collected some examples of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to illustrate what they could look like.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Resources: financial, intellectual, locational
  • Customer service
  • Efficiency
  • Competitive advantages
  • Infrastructure
  • Quality
  • Staff
  • Management
  • Price
  • Delivery time
  • Cost
  • Capacity

Opportunities and Threats

  • Legislation
  • Economic condition
  • Expectations of stakeholders
  • Technology
  • Public expectations
]]> (Administrator) SWOT Analysis Sun, 07 Jul 2013 12:11:53 +0000
SWOT Analysis - What's Next?

There is no general way of handling the results of a SWOT analysis which fits for each and every business. Every business is different and so are the actions deducted from the SWOT analysis. Here you will find some ideas what to do with the results from your SWOT analysis.


The final analytical task is to home in on the strategic issues management needs to address in forming an effective strategic action plan. Here, managers need to draw upon all the prior analysis, put the company's overall situation into perspective, and get a lock on exactly where they need to focus their strategic attention.  

Thompson and Strickland


Where do the company's strengths and opportunities reinforce each other?

Where do the company's weaknesses and threats reinforce each other?

First you should try to take advantage of the opportunities that cooperate with your strengths. Opportunities that go with your strengths may prompt you to pursue a strategy of forceful expansion. The result of your SWOT analysis may also advocate other strategic choices.

For example:

  •  Diversifying away from areas of major threat to more promising opportunities.
  •  Focusing on modifying weaknesses in spots of significant opportunities.
  •  Taking defensive measures in areas of threat where you are weak.

Concentrate on your weaknesses.

  •  Make your mind up which weaknesses need to be addressed as a priority. Other weaknesses have got to be accepted and respected until time and resources let you find a solution.
  •  Some weaknesses can be developed into strengths or opportunities. For instance, it might be feasible to turn a shortage of production capacity into increased value for your product.

Some weaknesses have a clear solution. Such as, financial weakness might be solved by raising further funds, and management shortcomings by recruiting new personnel. However, some weaknesses will take time and money to get rid of. For instance, you may need to start a program of improvements through training, or quality management.

Shield yourself against threats

For example:

  •  Build successful relationships (win/win) with suppliers and customers.
  •  Cultivate good employee relations.
  •  Ensure you have clear and reasonable contracts with suppliers, customers and employees.
  •  Procure insurance against evident debacles.
  •  Make realistic contingency plans to deal with potential crises.
  •  Establish the right types of service contracts for key personnel.
  •  Invest in legal protection for your intellectual property.
  •  Benefit from low fixed interest rates to move an overdrawing of your account to long-term loans.

Successful companies focus on capturing market niches and creating barriers-of-entry in order to decrease potential competition.


]]> (Administrator) SWOT Analysis Mon, 30 Oct 2006 11:58:26 +0000
What Is A Business Wargame?

Business WargameSimply, a business wargame is the adaptation of military wargaming to a business environment: it helps a company with strategic, operational and tactical planning, and execution.

A wargame is a role-played simulation of a business situation, usually one that involves a set of teams representing a market or customer, a set of competitors, and a series of other uncontrollable factors or entities. It involves a series of rounds representing a specific period of time or a phase in a plan. Reflecting reality, all teams act concurrently, each without all the information it would like to have about what its competitors are currently planning or doing, or exactly what is going on among the uncontrollable factors. Only after a round has been completed does each team learn the effects of its decisions and actions when they are melded with those of all the other elements represented in the wargame.

Depending upon the situation a company is facing, conducting a wargame accomplishes several different purposes. For example, it can help convert data and information about a market, competitors, and other factors into actionable intelligence that adds real value to the quality of planning. Once the dangers of ‘steering by the wake,’ simply extrapolating past strategic successes into the future. A wargame can generate an appropriate mix of both hard and soft deliverables. The hard deliverables from a wargame are usually documented in the After Action Report prepared shortly after the wargame’s completion. The soft deliverables are reflected in changes in the “hearts and minds” of the participants, such as new insights, knowledge, and skills developed from wargame role-playing.

This text is an excerpt from an interesting introduction in the Competitive Intelligence Magazin, written by Jay Kurtz from KappaWest a consultant and specialist in Business Wargaming.

]]> (Administrator) Competitive Intelligence Methods Thu, 14 Sep 2006 13:45:38 +0000