A SWOT analysis is a managerial tool that analyzes a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. By employing a SWOT analysis, a company can see where it is efficient, where it needs to tighten procedures, how well it competes in the marketplace and what it can do to better see changes in business. A company can employ several SWOT techniques to evaluate itself and see where improvement is needed. Work with a SWOT expert to compare your results with what the expert determines in her evaluation.
When asking about your company's strengths, you want to discuss the things your company does well. For example, you should perform customer service surveys and ask your customers to rank your support on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. With such information directly from your customers, you can see what areas of your business are perceived to be strong. Other things to take into consideration include the strength of your purchasing agreements that help you keep costs down, the relative strength of your product offerings in the marketplace versus the competition's and how you are able to leverage relationships with your partner companies.
Your company's weaknesses can be seen in your numbers. If your products consistently rank low in customer satisfaction surveys, you have a product quality issue. Your customer service metrics may show that it takes a while for a representative to get back to a client in need of support. You can also look at your products and determine where you are unable to compete so you can avoid sustaining sales losses in a market you shouldn't be in.
To create new business, your company needs to be able to analyze trends in your marketplace and anticipate customer needs. If your company is a trend-setter as opposed to a follower, you are strong in identifying opportunities and cashing in on them. When your company is consistently making product changes to keep up with the competition, you need to improve your ability to identify opportunity.
Threats are not always your competition. If you would like to develop a new product line but your current staffing is not qualified or sufficient to do so, inadequate staffing could threaten your company's future. New laws coming into effect may affect how your company does business. You need to identify these legal threats and take necessary measures to deal with them before they damage your business.