What is SWOT Analysis? | A brief Description of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats | Advantages of SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis means a planning method which is used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors. It is the most renowned tool for audit and analysis of the overall strategic position of the business and its environment. Its key purpose is to identify the strategies that will create a firm specific business model that will best align an organization’s resources and capabilities to the requirements of the environment in which the firm operates.

A brief description of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats is given below-

Strengths are the qualities that enable us to accomplish the organization’s mission. These are the basis on which continued success can be made and continued/sustained. Strengths can be either tangible or intangible. These are what you are well-versed in or what you have expertise in, the traits and qualities your employees possess (individually and as a team) and the distinct features that give your organization its consistency. Strengths are the beneficial aspects of the organization or the capabilities of an organization, which includes human competencies, process capabilities, financial resources, products and services, customer goodwill and brand loyalty. Examples of organizational strengths are huge financial resources, broad product line, no debt, committed employees, etc.

A Swot Analysis Strength could be:
  • Your specialist marketing expertise.
  • A new, innovative product or service.
  • Location of your business.
  • Quality processes and procedures.
  • Any other aspect of your business that adds value to your product or service.
Weaknesses are the qualities that prevent us from accomplishing our mission and achieving our full potential. These weaknesses deteriorate influences on the organizational success and growth. Weaknesses are the factors which do not meet the standards we feel they should meet. Weaknesses in an organization may be depreciating machinery, insufficient research and development facilities, narrow product range, poor decision-making, etc. Weaknesses are controllable. They must be minimized and eliminated. For instance - to overcome obsolete machinery, new machinery can be purchased. Other examples of organizational weaknesses are huge debts, high employee turnover, complex decision making process, narrow product range, large wastage of raw materials, etc.

A Swot Analysis Weaknesses Could be:
  • Lack of marketing expertise.
  • Undifferentiated products or services (i.e. in relation to your competitors).
  • Location of your business.
  • Poor quality goods or services. 
  • Damaged reputation.
Opportunities are presented by the environment within which our organization operates. These arise when an organization can take benefit of conditions in its environment to plan and execute strategies that enable it to become more profitable. Organizations can gain competitive advantage by making use of opportunities. Organization should be careful and recognize the opportunities and grasp them whenever they arise. Selecting the targets that will best serve the clients while getting desired results is a difficult task. Opportunities may arise from market, competition, industry/government and technology. Increasing demand for telecommunications accompanied by deregulation is a great opportunity for new firms to enter telecom sector and compete with existing firms for revenue.

A Swot Analysis Opportunity could be:
  • A developing market such as the Internet.
  • Mergers, joint ventures or strategic alliances.
  • Moving into new market segments that offer improved profits.
  • A new international market.
  • A market vacated by an ineffective competitor.
Threats arise when conditions in external environment jeopardize the reliability and profitability of the organization’s business. They compound the vulnerability when they relate to the weaknesses. Threats are uncontrollable. When a threat comes, the stability and survival can be at stake. Examples of threats are - unrest among employees; ever changing technology; increasing competition leading to excess capacity, price wars and reducing industry profits; etc.

A Swot Analysis Threat Could be:

  • A new competitor in your home market.
  • Price wars with competitors.
  • A competitor has a new, innovative product or service.
  • Competitors have superior access to channels of distribution.
  • Taxation is introduced on your product or service.
A word of caution, SWOT analysis can be very subjective. Do not rely on SWOT too much. Two people rarely come-up with the same final version of SWOT. TOWS analysis is extremely similar. It simply looks at the negative factors first in order to turn them into positive factors. So use SWOT as guide and not a prescription.

Advantages of SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis helps in strategic planning in following manner:
  • It is a source of information for strategic planning.
  • Builds organization’s strengths.
  • Reverse its weaknesses.
  • Maximize its response to opportunities.
  • Overcome organization’s threats.
  • It helps in identifying core competencies of the firm.
  • It helps in setting of objectives for strategic planning.
  • It helps in knowing past, present and future so that by using past and current data, future plans can be chalked out.


Comment here

Textile Learner is the largest Textile Blog over the net. It is an ultimate reference for textile students. It describes textile articles in comprehensive. It also supplies news on latest textile technology, educational institute news of the world.