Four States Small Business Blog

Take Stock of Your Business with a SWOT Analysis

Posted by Kylie Davis on October 25, 2022 at 9:07 AM
SWOT Analysis
It's always important for any business to have a solid strategy. That's especially true when the business environment is challenging. While we often talk about the importance of branding for business on this blog, this week, we wanted to take a step back and discuss a more general tool to help you strategize for your whole business. The tool we'll be talking about is the SWOT analysis. And, as you would expect, this tool also helps you to brand successfully. 

What Does A SWOT Analysis Do?

A SWOT Analysis aims to help categorize and sort information about your business and competitors. While the word 'analysis' can bring up images of fiddling around with complex spreadsheets, a SWOT analysis is refreshingly simple. You could perform one with a napkin and a pencil if you wanted. Using SWOT, you can methodically organize information, make discoveries about your company, and find ways to stand out and excel in your industry. 

How to Perform a SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is composed of four parts.
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses 
  • Opportunities
  • Threats
These four parts are further divided into internal and external categories. Strengths and weaknesses are internal, while opportunities and threats are external.

Step 1: Strengths

Writing down your strengths is probably the most rewarding part of a SWOT. Find everything your business is doing right or has going for it for this part of the analysis. Examples could be your location, size, workforce, reputation, quality of product, or anything else that's good about your company.

Step 2: Weaknesses

Like strengths, weaknesses are internal to your business. All the examples given above could be categorized as weaknesses if they are not helping your business succeed. For instance, your location could be keeping you from reaching new customers. 

Step 3: Opportunities

Opportunities are environmental, which makes them external to your business. A prime example of an opportunity would be finding an underserved market you are well-positioned to enter. Some of your weaknesses may also be opportunities. Consider this, a fresh set of employees may be inexperienced and thus categorized as a weakness, but if you can make plans to advance their training rapidly, that could be an opportunity. 

Step 4: Threats

Threats are some of the hardest to write down and can be quite a broad category. Anything from a large corporation moving into your local market to a changing regulatory environment is a potential threat. 

How Does a SWOT Analysis Help with Branding?

A SWOT Analysis can help with many aspects of your business, including branding. A good brand message usually starts with one of the strengths you will have listed, while opportunities help you create specific ads targeted to help you gain traction with new customers and markets.

For expert help crafting a branding message based on your company's strengths and weaknesses, get in touch with a consultant at Zimmer Marketing.

Topics: Marketing Strategy