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SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis should be conducted after the PESTLE analysis, as the external environment impacts on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that the business faces.

Analyse each aspect of the SWOT analysis and look at avenues which exploit the strengths of the business and pursue the identified opportunities.

Similarly, the threats and weaknesses should be assessed and possible options identified so as to minimise these. These options may include diversification, targeting a different customer segment, or product development.

Strengths

  • What’s different about your business?
  • What do you do well?
  • What unique resources or knowledge do you have?

Think from an internal and external perspective. For example, if all your competitors have a high quality product then having a high quality product is not a strength, it’s a necessity.

Weaknesses

  • What do your competitors have that you don’t?
  • What areas can you improve at?
  • What weaknesses do people perceive you as having?

Perception is just as important as the reality here. Do customers perceive you as having certain weaknesses? Where do you think you could do better?

Opportunities

  • What trends present an opportunity to you?
  • Are there any complementary products which you could look to expand into?
  • Are there any potentially beneficial technological or legal developments?

Refer back to your strengths and look at whether you can exploit any opportunities through using them.

Threats

  • What legal and technological developments could threaten your business?
  • Are any new entrants likely?
  • What does your competition plan to do?

Threats may often arise as a result of your weaknesses. Assessing your weaknesses will help you identify future threats and assess how to minimise them.

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