SWOT Analysis

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Identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

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SWOT Analysis

What is a SWOT analysis? Description

A SWOT analysis is a tool, used in management and strategy formulation. It can help to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of a particular company. 

Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that create value or destroy value. They can include assets, skills, or resources that a company has at its disposal, compared to its competitors. They can be measured using internal assessments or external benchmarking.

Opportunities and threats are external factors that create value or destroy value. A company cannot control them. But they emerge from either the competitive dynamics of the industry/market or from demographic, economic, political, technical, social, legal or cultural factors (PEST).

Typical examples of factors in a SWOT Analysis diagram:


  • Specialist marketing expertise
  • Exclusive access to natural resources
  • Patents
  • New, innovative product or service
  • Location of your business
  • Cost advantage through proprietary know-how
  • Quality processes and procedures
  • Strong brand or reputation


  • Lack of marketing expertise
  • Undifferentiated products and service (i.e. in relation to your competitors)
  • Location of your company
  • Competitors have superior access to distribution channels
  • Poor quality of goods or services
  • Damaged reputation


  • Developing market (China, the Internet)
  • Mergers, joint ventures or strategic alliances
  • Moving into new attractive market segments
  • A new international market
  • Loosening of regulations
  • Removal of international trade barriers
  • A market that is led by a weak competitor


  • A new competitor in your own home market
  • Price war
  • Competitor has a new, innovative substitute product or service
  • New regulations
  • Increased trade barriers
  • A potential new taxation on your product or service

Any organization must try to create a fit with its external environment. The SWOT diagram is a very good tool for analyzing the (internal) strengths and weaknesses of a corporation and the (external) opportunities and threats. However, this analysis is just the first step. To really create the fit with the external environment is often the most difficult work.

Confrontation Matrix

A tool to combine the internal factors with the external factors is the Confrontation Matrix.







make the most of these


restore strengths




watch competition closely


turn around

Often in reality the two columns of the SWOT diagram are pointing in opposite directions. Strategists must still deal with the paradox of creating alignment. This can be done via Outside-in strategy formulation (market-driven strategy) or Inside-out strategy formulation (resource-driven).

Note: you can also apply a SWOT analysis to competitors, often providing interesting new perspectives.

SWOT Analysis Forum (29 topics) Help
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  Using SWOT Analysis for Supplier Audits
This would be a good tool to use during the evaluation of a supplier like when conduction a quality audit.
How would I draft such a report? Would I just comment on each area, e.g., S, W, O and T.
What would a project manager or procurement ...

Involve Stakeholders in SWOT Analysis

Usually SWOT analysis is used by middle or higher managers/decision makers who are responsible for strategic planning. But don't overlook anyone else in the creation stage!
While it is possible to develop a SWOT analysis in a small group, it wil...

Be Careful with Viewing Industry Opportunities as Company Opportunities

Managers are advised to guard against considering every industry opportunity as a company opportunity. An opportunity without the MEANS to capture it is an illusion.
To capture an opportunity it must match up with the financial and other resourc...

How to Proceed after the SWOT Analysis to the Strategy?

What should we do after the SWOT analysis. In other words, depending on the SWOT outcomes, what strategy can we use?...

SWOT Analysis as a Brainstorming Technique

SWOT analysis can be used in each organization. It can be used as brainstorming technique where individuals come up with distinctive ideas about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the busi...

WHEN to do a SWOT Analysis?

At what stage should an organization develop a SWOT analysis?
At the inception or developing stage?...

Internal Opportunities and Threats

What about the opportunities and threats that exist within the organization and we are not aware about them? How we will evaluate them through SWOT framework?...

SWOT Analysis Strength

I think companies strategies on which company is working and that is giving positive response from a long time is its strength.
"strategies giving positive response is the strength"....

SWOT Analysis for British Airways and Ryan Air

Would anybody be able to suggest some key points to include under SWOT for the above firms.
I'm having problems keeping it short and succinct as well as assessing what are actually relative strengths and weaknesses....

Combine SWOT Analysis with 5 Ps

I always do a SWOT analysis against the 5 Ps. People, Product, Promotion, Place and last of all Price....

Design Shool Theory vs. SWOT

Whats the difference between a SWOT analysis and the Design School Theory?...

Turning Competitor's Weaknesses Into Opportunities

How can I turn my rival's internal weaknesses into my opportunities since some companies succeed in keeping their internal weaknesses as a secret to themselves?...

SWOT and Strategic Marketing Process

How does the SWOT analysis relate to the strategic marketing process (SMP)?...

SWOT Analysis + Weightage

SWOT analysis is a basic tool for any marketing manager to determine their future strategies. But just listing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are not adequate especially for the challenging business environment. Sometimes manage...

Well suited for Crisis too

In this moment of crisis, I never see a better tool for help us in our decisions. This analysis model gives the necessary matrix for fast and proper action....

Swot Analysis Well Suited as First Step

Swot becomes an effective tool for analysing competitiveness only when it is used as first step. Other frame work such as Porters' five forces, benchmarking and pest need to come into play before final analysis, decisions and strategy is formulated....

SWOC Analysis instead of SWOT Analysis

The "T" in SWOT can be changed to "C" for Challenge to create a more positive attitude....

Competetive Analysis with SWOT

Is only a SWOT Analysis enough for competitive analysis or should it be combined with other techniques?...

SWOT - Absolutely essential

This is the most important tool companies around the globe will need to survive and grow in our current uncertain economic climate!...

Ranking model for the Opportunities and Threats

In order to remove subjectivity in ranking Opportunities and Threats I am looking for a ranking model/theory/approach which could be used to rank the Opportunities and Threats. Does anyone have experience in using a ranking model, other than using...
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SWOT Analysis Special Interest Group

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Steps of Typical SWOT Process

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Strengths and VRIO test

Thoroughly Analyzing Strengths

SWOT Dos and Donts

Successful Implementation

10 SWOT Golden Rules

SWOT Implementation, SWOT Best Practices

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Critics on SWOT Analysis

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SWOT Disadvantages

SWOT in Strategic Planning

SWOT Advantages

SWOT in Strategic Planning

Questions to Analyze the External Environment

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History of SWOT. Early Strategic Planning

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Strategic Analysis

SWOT Analysis

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SWOT Analysis with Example

Self SWOT Analysis

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Compare with: Core Competence  |  Parenting Advantage  |  Porter's five forces model  |  Outsourcing  |  Industry Change  |  OODA Loop  |  BCG Matrix  |  GE Matrix

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