For any small business to succeed, strategizing is a must. Management should always consider company growth or, at the very least, areas in which the business could improve. One easy way to figure out those strategic options is to conduct a SWOT analysis. Looking at your business with an analytical lens can help pave the way for success.

What Does SWOT Stand For?

SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These are the four different categories you should be thinking about when conducting an analysis. Figuring out what your business excels at or is lacking in will help you figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. These are things that are happening internally, so they can be addressed within the company. Opportunities and threats, however, refer to external matters. Here, you’ll have to figure out what outside of your company can help or hurt your business. 

How Will a SWOT Analysis Help?

When conducted properly, this type of analysis allows you to take an honest look at your business. It’s important to be detailed and objective, particularly when it comes to weaknesses and threats. Once you clearly define those categories, you can begin strategizing. Strengths and weaknesses are fairly straightforward. You can capitalize on your strengths and develop methods for overcoming any weaknesses, but opportunities and threats require a little more creativity. Opportunities, such as market trends and increased tax breaks, can tell you where you should focus your efforts moving forward. For example, a cheap rental space in a high-traffic area could be an excellent opportunity to expand your business, so you can start considering the logistics. Threats like increased competition are out of your control, but you can begin figuring out how you will work around those threats, such as boosting marketing or making your products and services more attractive to customers. Use your strengths to take advantage of opportunities and combat threats, and be aware of your weaknesses so that you don’t hit any pitfalls. These types of strategies will help you stay on top of your game.

Who Should Conduct a SWOT Analysis?

Ideally, this analysis should be a company-wide activity. It’s important to integrate different departments and gather multiple perspectives so that every detail is accounted for. Additionally, this type of analysis helps facilitate a sense of community in the workplace because of the widespread inclusion. If this is an essential piece of your company culture, use this analysis to bring everyone together.