Nobody knows your business better than you. But sometimes there are perspectives and angles that we do not see. There will be opportunities and threats that you may overlook. To better understand the potential growth of your business, you need a comprehensive SWOT analysis.
COVID‐19 pandemic is continuously devastating small to large businesses. Entrepreneurs are stuck in a stubborn muck; some don’t even know how to get away from it. It is time for you to regroup and evaluate your startup success. You need to bring out your SWOT analysis.
How to do a SWOT analysis for your startup
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps the startup owner identify its strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and threats that may exist in specific business situations. SWOT analysis is often used as part of a marketing plan, but it is also a good tool for general business strategy and businesses use it as a starting point for team discussions. Once you have completed the SWOT analysis, it can bring valuable information to your startup that helps you in different situations.
Use the SWOT matrix
The SWOT matrix is a square that is divided into four parts and each element of the matrix is located in a corner. The elements of the SWOT matrix are strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Questions to be asked
The easiest way to fill each quadrant in the above matrix is to answer a series of questions. Use the list below to get started, focusing on questions that are more relevant to your startup and your current situation.
Strengths: In this section, focus on the characteristics of yourself and your business that will help you achieve your goals. Questions to consider include:
- What do you do well?
- What are your unique skills?
- What specialized knowledge do you have?
- What is your experience?
- What are your advantages over competitors?
- Where is your business most profitable?
Weaknesses: In this section, focus on the characteristics of yourself and your business that can prevent you from achieving your goals:
- In what areas do you need to grow?
- What resources do you lack?
- Which part of your business is not profitable?
- In which areas do you need more experience and knowledge?
- Which one is more valuable to you? Time or money?
Opportunities: For this part, think about the external factors that will help you achieve your goals. Questions to consider:
- What are the current work goals you are working to achieve?
- What extra work can you do for your customers?
- What technologies can you use to grow your startup?
- Are there any potential audiences you can reach?
- Are there other products and services that can help you in your business?
Threats: In this section, think about whether there are external factors that can disrupt your business. Questions to consider for this section:
- What are the obstacles in your way?
- What are the strengths of your biggest competitors?
- What are the advantages of your competitors that you do not have?
- What is happening in the economy?
- What is going on in the industry?
Use the data collected in SWOT analysis
One of the most important parts of your SWOT analysis is using the data collected to shape your new goals and strategies. For example, you should:
- Create a program to build more strengths.
- List ways to improve your weaknesses.
- Set smart goals for each of the identified opportunities.
- Design a plan to use your strengths to reduce the threats you have identified.
Combine data collected from different parts
- Discover how to combine your strengths and opportunities for new strategies.
- Try to use a combination of strengths and threats to identify threats that can be eliminated.
- Examine your weaknesses and opportunities to create a list of opportunities that can grow and improve.
- Make a list of situations in which you are threatened and weakened and avoid them.
Finally, SWOT analysis is a tool that you can use in your business continuously to discover new opportunities and improve your decision-making process.