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SWOT analysis revision guide
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SWOT Analysis Revision Guide
The SWOT analysis has been widely accepted in marketing and business literature
as a valuable means of assessing the fit between what a firm can and cannot do
(strengths and weaknesses) and the environmental conditions that influence firm
choices and behaviour (opportunities and threats) (Ferrell and Hartline, 2011:120).
Strategic focus and the development of effective, productive priorities is a frequently
overlooked and undervalued condition of the modern business environment. For
organisations seeking to establish more opportunistic competitive footholds, the SWOT
analysis offers a snapshot interpretation of both internal and external variables that
could both positively and negatively influence the effectiveness of business decisions
(Ferrell and Hartline, 2011:122). One of the key values of the SWOT analysis is that
it may allow firms to recognise those areas of the organisation that, whilst once highly
successful and value-added business segments, are now in decline as a result of either
internal or external conditions (Griffin, 2011:73-4). A more comprehensive exploration
of the market including those forces that act upon corporate strengths or exploit
organisational weaknesses will present both the opportunities and the threats that must
be incorporated into the business strategy.
Organisational opportunities can be leveraged in order to increase corporate
performance, either by converting weaknesses into strengths or by accessing new
strengths that can be strategically integrated into the organisational model. Threats
will limit this performance, and without addressing these limitations and degrading
influences, firms may fail to effectively navigate market changes or variability (Griffin,
2011:70). Exploring the internal capabilities involves a segment by segment review
of business processes, exploration of systems, evaluation of facilities and equipment,
assessment of team skills and experience, definition of internal capabilities, and
identification of areas for improvement (Bruce and Langdon, 2000). Exploration of
external variables includes a comprehensive review of the consumer factor, competitive
influences, market flux, and future predictions. Once the SWOT is constructed it is
essential that key business drivers have not only been identified and included, but
are easily identifiable within the summary (Bruce and Langdon, 2000). Ultimately,
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the SWOT analysis is a regular process that provides organisations with a periodic
snapshot of their business performance and a wide range of strategic opportunities.
By restricting limitations that undermine business performance and value, firms will
gradually gain strength and positioning within markets that may be highly uncertain
or experiencing a constant state of adjustment. Firms which adjust and adapt their
strategy to maintain market positioning or access new business segments are likely to
actualise growth and improve competencies in those areas which might have otherwise
been overlooked. In essence, the SWOT analysis is a wake-up call; a managerial tool
that, when used appropriately and implemented effectively, can maximise competencies
and enhance the overall influence of corporate strengths whilst establishing stability,
dominance, and strategic orientation within the marketplace.
Top 5 Sources for SWOT Analysis Study
Bruce, A., Langdon, K. (2000) Strategic Thinking. New York: Penguin Publishing.
Cagan, M. (2006) Streetwise Business Plans. ...
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