SWOT – Marketing Analysis

One of the most popular tools used for business strategic planning is the SWOT analysis.

A SWOT analysis means evaluating your company’s:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Let’s take a closer look:

Opportunities are areas of buyer need where your company can perform profitably. The best opportunities are the ones that are relatively easy for the company to pursue and that have a high probability of success.

Threats are the challenges posed by unfavourable developments or trends that could lead to reduced profits. Examples of threats could include the development of a superior product by a competitor, a high chance of a prolonged economic depression or unfavourable government legislation. Of course, there could be many more.

Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s one thing to be able to sniff out opportunities, having the competencies to take advantage of them is just as important. You don’t have to correct all of your business’s weaknesses (that’s usually impossible). The big question is whether or not you should stick to opportunities where your company has the necessary strengths, or whether your company should acquire or develop new strengths.

It’s a good idea to evaluate your business’s strengths and weaknesses periodically. It will help guide your decisions about which opportunities to pursue, and where you company should improve.

You can use a form like the sample below. To get started, download it as a spreadsheet and tailor it to your needs.

Download SWOT Checklist » (30 KB .zip)

Sample Strengths/Weaknesses Analysis Checklist –    
    Performance     Importance    
    Major Strength   Minor Strength   Neutral   Minor Weakness   Major Weakness     High   Medium   Low    
1. Company reputation                                      
2. Product quality                                      
3. Service Quality                                      
4. Market Share                                      
5. Pricing effectiveness                                      
6. Distribution effectiveness                                      
7. Promotion effectiveness                                      
8. Sales force effectiveness                                      
9. Innovation effectiveness                                      
10. Geographical coverage                                      
11. Cost/availability of capital                                      
12. cash flow                                      
13. Financial Stability                                      
14. Facilities                                      
15. Economies of scale                                      
16. Capacity                                      
17. Able, dedicated workforce                                      
18. Ability to produce on time                                      
19 Technical skills                                      
20. Visionary capable leadership                                      
21. Dedicated employees                                      
22. Entrepreneurial orientation                                      
23. Flexible/responsive