The SWOT Analysis process must have a solid framework to be useful for your marketing strategy. Each element of the SWOT analysis is based on answering questions that are grounded in reality and in the experiences that your business has had over the last year. Instead of just listing a bunch of items or points of interest, you are answering questions that will actually give you insights into the next appropriate action to take inside your business. This isn’t the complete set of questions; however, it will get you started in thinking about new ways that you can grow your company.
Strengths: Build upon strengths and weaknesses will take care of themselves
- In what areas does (YOUR COMPANY) perform exceptionally?
- What important bids or proposals did (YOUR COMPANY) win this year? Why did (YOUR COMPANY) win them?
- Which target markets or customer groups created the most sales? Which created the most profits?
- What did (YOUR COMPANY) do best this year? What were (YOUR COMPANY) greatest triumphs?
- Which customers or market segments grew the most? What caused this “success”?
- What important bids or proposals did (YOUR COMPANY) loose this year? Why did (YOUR COMPANY) loose them?
- Which target markets or customer groups created the least sales? Which created the least profits?
- What were (YOUR COMPANY) greatest disappointments or failures?
- Which customers or market segments achieved the least? What caused this “failure”?
- Weaknesses with respect to: Target market needs, wants & consumption trends
Opportunities: “If Opportunities do not knock build a door”—Milton Berle
- What new customer wants can you meet?
- What economic trends are benefiting? How can you take advantage of them?
- What technological factors are creating opportunities for you? How can you profit from them?
- What niches and opportunities have your competitors missed?
- What alternatives does your ideal customer have to purchasing what you have to offer?
- What major changes are taking place in the industry?
- What are some things that “would never happen” in your industry? How can that become an opportunity for you?
Threats: “It is dangerous to exist in the world. To exist is to be threatened. We must live with threats.” ― Adam Levin, The Instructions
- Are there technological factors creating threats?
- In what ways do your competitors threaten you?
- What scares you most about the future of (YOUR COMPANY)?
- Are major changes taking place in the industry?
- Is the government increasing the burden of any previous regulations?