Don't forget S.W.O.T. analysis

It’s planning season for 2013. You may have already started identifying goals and outlining budget items for next year.

Do yourself a favor and perform a S.W.O.T. Analysis before you get too far down the road.

If you think  S.W.O.T Analysis are old school and irrelevant, think again.

Albert Humphrey’s business concept was developed over 40 years ago as a strategic planning method and still provides keen insight into project and venture achievability. Here is a simple outline to perform a S.W.O.T. analysis. It is divided into two elements and four components.


Strengths: The attributes of your brand or company that stand above the competition.

Think of these as your competitive advantages. Your strengths are the characteristics that tell your story. They are the connectors between you and your customers.

Weaknesses: The traits of your brand or company that put you at a disadvantage to the competition.

Identifying weaknesses helps you find and improve gaps in your product, service, or culture.


Opportunities: Chances to grow your business in the present market.

Do your homework and study your niche. Where is the puck going? How can I get there? Remember, unlike internal factors, these conditions are largely out of your control. However, recognizing gaps, trends or innovations in the market can give you an advantage.

Threats: Circumstances in the market that may put constraints on your business.

What can potentially stop you? You may not be able to control it but identifying these potential roadblocks will help you develop a better strategy.

Life moves fast. Go through this exercise a few times a year to keep a pulse on your business. You will be happy you did.

How do you use S.W.O.T. Analysis?

photo credit: jean-louis zimmermann

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