SWOT – Free template
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunites and Threats
Sometimes people refer to a business as an organization. Organized business is a healthy business. People make a business. Without people, there is no business. The people on hand are a strength, the people needed are a weakness. The business elements in hand are the strengths. Tangible assets like machines, office equipment, and inventory are a component of strength. Intellectual Property and the plan for using it are also part of the strength of the company. Cash and financial strength count. Add up everything including marketing, advertising, sales, web, and manufacturing capability. Be thorough. The strengths carry the business.
Unfortunately, weaknesses are not as easy to perceive as strengths. Fundamental errors can carry on and crush a business at an alarming speed. The easy weaknesses to list include not enough sales, money, projects delayed, and other missed metrics. But – what needs to change or iterate before the business runs into a weak position? The good kind of self-criticism and accountability comes into play. Various heads find their own and company weaknesses and put them down for corrective action. Brave work to find the missing or weak business elements
The venture inventor invented to meet a need or niche in the market. The opportunity is to fill the need or niche. There is more. To hone in on the opportunity the Voice of the Customer work, the market segmentation, and the value of the opportunity is known. Is this a “family” product? What are the adjacencies? New applications for the invention? Correctly understanding the opportunity drives the expectations for the bottom line.
Threats speak to, why not? Too much competition? Not manufacturable? Founders arguing? Cash low? Market segment too small? Invention incomplete?
The SWOT analysis was invented by a management consultant named Albert Humphrey in the 1960’s. It has stood the test of fierce business and time. Understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in a company is fundamental to knowing how to manage the business.