How to make better business decisions with a SWOT analysis

While completing a SWOT analysis may take some time and work, it will allow you to select the best viable business strategies by considering as many elements as possible.

The competent application of management's four basic functions: planning, organisation, and control, is the key to effective management. A SWOT analysis can help your company accomplish all four of these basic goals.

In today’s article, we’ll define the purpose of a SWOT analysis, discuss in-depth its importance and value within the business sector, and finally provide a clear guide on how you can create an effective SWOT analysis for your own business strategy.

What is a SWOT analysis?
SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is a list of your company's main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in an orderly format.

The SWOT analysis is one of the most effective techniques for brainstorming and strategic planning. You'll get more value out of a SWOT analysis if you approach it with a specific aim or question in mind.

This tool aids in balancing the organisation's internal strengths and weaknesses with the opportunities and dangers it will encounter. It enables businesses to determine not just their capabilities but also all potential competitive advantages as well.

Why is a SWOT analysis important for businesses, and should my business use it too?
Before you decide to undertake a SWOT analysis, you should be aware of the restrictions as well as the advantages. The SWOT analysis will be more beneficial for your business if you know what you can realistically hope to achieve with it.

Here are a few benefits of creating a SWOT analysis:
  • A good source of information for planning;
  • Identifies the business’ core strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats;
  • This data enables businesses to make better decisions in a dynamic market to sustain momentum;
  • This tool does not require any advanced technical knowledge or training as long as it is performed by an individual who understands the business and the industry it operates in.

You should also bear in mind that there are some restrictions, as listed below:
  • Categorising each strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat can be very subjective;
  • No mechanism or feature to rank each factor based on its significance;
  • Too ambiguous as each factor can be both a strength and a weakness;
  • Produces a large amount of data, not all of which is valuable.

How can I conduct a SWOT analysis?
Before you create a SWOT analysis for your business, you should first identify the business’s internal and external factors.

Internal factors = current processes, human resources, etc.
External factors = market trends, economic trends, etc.

Now that we have defined what internal and external factors, we will now guide you through the process of creating an effective SWOT analysis in the following list:

  • Determine the goal of your SWOT analysis
In order To get the most out of your SWOT analysis, you should start with a question or objective. For example, a SWOT analysis may be used to evaluate if you should provide a new product or service or enhance your current processes.

  • Conduct research on your company, industry, and market
Before you start the actual SWOT analysis, you need to do some preparatory research to have a better knowledge of your firm, industry, and market. To gain a diversity of perspectives, talk to your employees, business partners, and clients. You should also focus on competitor research as well.

  • Identify your business’s strengths
Employees, financial resources, your business location, cost advantages, and competitiveness are all examples of strengths.

The list does not need to be final at this level of the SWOT analysis. Any and all suggestions and ideas are welcomed.

  • List your business’s weaknesses
A lack of new goods or clients, employee absenteeism, a lack of intellectual property, diminishing market share, and a long distance to market are all potential weaknesses.

Ensure that you make the effort to solve the flaws that your SWOT analysis has revealed. After a year, you may discover that your vulnerabilities have been addressed in your SWOT analysis. While you may discover new flaws, the fact that the old ones are no longer present is an indication of progress.

  • Find potential business opportunities
Consider the possibilities for your company's external growth. New technologies, training programmes, collaborations, a diversified marketplace, and a change of government are all possibilities.

  • Detect as many threats as you can
Make a list of external elements that might pose a danger to your company or cause an issue.

Increased competition, increased interest rates, and global market instability are all potential risks.

  • Rank each factor by its level of significance
Now that you have a better understanding of the company's fundamental skills and shortcomings, you can start sorting these characteristics and determining which are the most and least important.

This is likely the most crucial phase since it helps you to obtain a better understanding of your firm and make better business decisions about which areas need to be improved, how to capitalise on possibilities, and how to begin to minimise external threats.

SWOT analysis is a useful technique for determining an organisation's health. It also enables decision-makers to determine not just where a company is, but also where it needs to develop.

Running a business during uncertain times can certainly be overwhelming and stressful for many business owners. Here at Persona Finance, we understand these challenges and are dedicated to providing all business owners with the most key accounting services. For more information on how we can help your business, please contact us at [].