Houston Business Journal by Scott Clark
Date: Sunday, June 6, 2004, 11:00pm CDT - Last Modified: Thursday, June 3, 2004, 10:12am CDT [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]
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SWOT is one of those acronyms that many business people use, few understand what it means, and even fewer understand how to use it. Yet an effective SWOT analysis is essential to the continued success of any business. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis for your business should be conducted at least every year. SWOT results shape a company's marketing plan, strategies and tactics. Let's discuss each of the elements of SWOT:
• Strengths. These are defined as positive factors within your company that may enhance its ability to win future business. Examples of these factors might include specific skills or products, exclusive knowledge or experience, strong customer relationships, special resources, manufacturing advantages, delivery advantages, marketing advantages and monetary advantages. Every business has some distinctive strengths the competition does not. Start by brainstorming a list of the unique strengths of your business relative to other products, relative to financial returns, relative to the needs of consumers and relative to the competition. Once you have a list, prioritize your entries from most relevant to least significant. Then eliminate those that do not represent a significant advantage for your business. • Weaknesses. These are defined as negative factors within your company that may impede its ability to win future business. Examples might include the lack of a specific product, capability, experience or skill-set. Weaknesses might also include deficient knowledge of a customer or a competitor, an unproven product or business in...