What Is A SWOT Analysis?

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A SWOT analysis is a technique for documenting internal strengths (S) and weaknesses (W) in your organisation as well as external opportunities (O) and threats (T). You can utilise this information in your business planning in order to help reach your goals. To work out if an issue is an internal or external aspect, ask yourself if it would exist even if your company didn’t. If it would, then it is an external factor (e.g. new technology).

Here is a taste of how to do a SWOT analysis.

How To Perform A SWOT Analysis

1. Choose a leader or group facilitator who has good listening as well as group process skills. In addition, he or she must be able to keep things moving as well as on track.

2. Designate a recorder to support the leader if your group is big. Utilise newsprint on a flip chart or a large board in order to record the analysis as well as discussion points. You can later rewrite these notes, in a more polished fashion, so that you can share these with stakeholders.

3. Present You the SWOT method and its purpose in your company. This can be as straightforward as asking, “Where are we and where can we go?” If you have the time, you could go through a quick example based on a shared experience or familiar public issue (even the new TV season).

4. Depending upon the nature of your group and the time that is available, let all participants introduce themselves. Then split your stakeholders into smaller groups.

  • If your retreat or meeting draws a number of groups of stakeholders together, make sure that you mix the small groups in order to get a range of perspectives as well as to give them the chance to introduce themselves.
  • The size of these groups depends on the size of your entire group-breakout; groups can range from three to 10. If the size gets much larger, some may not take part.

5. Have each group choose a recorder and give each of them newsprint or dry-erase board. Direct them to generate a SWOT analysis in the format you choose: a chart, columns, a matrix, or even a page for each of the qualities.

a)  Give the groups between 20 and 30 minutes to brainstorm – as well as fill out – their own strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats chart for your programme, project or effort. Encourage them not to disqualify any ideas at this stage, or the next.

b)  You can give these tips for listing:

  • As you list, remember that the way to generate a good idea is to have many ideas. Improvement can come at a later stage. In this way, the SWOT analysis also provides support for invaluable discussion within your group or company as you honestly assess.
  • In the beginning, though, it helps to produce lots of comments about your organisation as well as your programme, and even to put them in multiple categories if that provokes thought.
  • In the end, it is best to limit your lists to 10 or fewer points and to be specific so the analysis can be truly helpful.


6. Resume the group at the agreed-upon time in order to share results. Collect information from the groups, recording on the flip-chart or board. Collect and organise the differing groups’ ideas and perceptions, using one of the following methods:

a) Proceed in S-W-O-T order, noting strengths first, weaknesses second, etc.

b) Or you can start by calling for the top priorities in each category – the strongest strength, the most hazardous weakness, biggest opportunity, worst threat – and continue to work across each category.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

To learn more about how to do a SWOT analysis, as well as other marketing fundamentals, you really need to do our Marketing Fundamentals Course. Follow this link for more information.

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