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Swot analysis: what is it and what is it for?

What is swot analysis?


, is an assessment that allows the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a project or business plan to be identified.

It is therefore a very useful tool through which the actual effectiveness of a strategy can be analysed. The term SWOT, in particular, is an acronym that stands for 'Strengths', 'Weaknesses', 'Opportunities', 'Threats'. Each of these factors represents an important element of the analysis and must therefore be properly considered and examined.

SWOT analysis: how is it done?

One therefore starts with Strenghts, i.e. those internal initiatives that yield good results. In the course of the SWOT analysis, these should be compared with other activities in order to understand what works. Once the strengths have been identified, it will be possible to apply them in other areas, so as to improve the entire organisation. Weakness, on the other hand, allows you to assess those initiatives that are not performing as well as they should.

The analysis of these factors is fundamental in that it makes it possible to become aware of what is wrong and to map out possible actions and strategies for improvement. Opportunities are the result of the analysis of the previous two factors. In fact, the assessment of strengths and weaknesses makes it possible to highlight any opportunities that have not yet been explored, such as initiatives that would enable the acquisition of a stronger competitive position. Finally, Threats refer to areas that could potentially create problems. These are different from weaknesses in that they are external to the company an generally outside its control.

How to do SWOT analysis: some examples

The four factors of the SWOT analysis therefore correspond to concrete realities and initiatives, which naturally vary from one project to another. In the case of a company, for example, the analysis might concern the performance of certain departments and initiatives.

One of the strengths, the flagship of the company, could thus be customer service. To identify this, one should ask oneself a series of questions, looking for one's best initiatives and the uniqueness of one's organisation. Conversely, a possible weak point could be the website, which is not very visible and consequently not very visited. In this case, it is necessary to ask oneself what is wrong, what could be improved and what resources could help to increase results.

In this regard, the analysis of opportunities could start from this very weakness, identifying an increase in advertising as a possible solution to improve the visibility of the website. In this case, it is necessary to ask oneself what aspects of the market are not covered by one's services and what one's annual goals are. Finally, a possible threat could be a new competitor in the market or, in the worst case, a global pandemic, factors that could lead to a drop in sales.

Evaluating all these elements will allow you to have a clear view of how your company is performing and of any ongoing projects.

swot analisi
swot analisi

The SWOT matrix

To,be really useful, however, the SWOT analysis must be represented concretely and visually by means of a matrix. The format is divided into four separate squares, each of which is dedicated to the various factors to be analysed.

Evaluating The SWOT matrix is perfect for gathering information and documenting the questions that need to be asked during the analysis phase and that will help track possible initiatives and improvement actions. Not only is this tool useful as a reference at a later stage, it is also a valuable aid for visualising any emerging trends.

SWOT analysis can be carried out in two ways,i.e. during a meeting by actively involving your team or through the creation of a formal matrix. 

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