What is SWOT, and why is it important?

SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
Measures current status of a business. Can be performed in a “back-of-a-napkin” form, to quickly evaluate the health/strength/competitive standing of a business.

SWOT Examples:  

Company: Susie’s Ice Cream Stand
Strengths: Great location, secret garlic ice cream recipe, amazing customer service
Weaknesses: Irregular shop hours, needs to educate customers on benefits of garlic ice cream, lack of business skills
Opportunities: Serve allergen-free ice cream, exclusive contract with yearly air show, increasing temperatures due to global warming
Threats: Mike thinking about opening up “Mike’s Ice Cream Stand” across the street, local government increasing business taxes, a rise in cost of raw materials (milk, water, sugar)

SWOT Analysis
SWOT Overview. (Source: wikimedia.org)

How often should you perform SWOT? As often as you’d like. Every iteration of a SWOT analysis will provide new insight, new ideas. Keep each copy of your SWOT analysis, review often. Doing so will help you keep track of your advancement. A SWOT analysis from six months ago will seem childish, yet without it you would not have reached the point at which you are today.

More information on SWOT:
Breaking down SWOT (Investopedia)

How to perform a SWOT Analysis (Youtube)

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