The office of Small Business in the Queensland department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business
and the Commonwealth Games – yes I’m serious, that IS where the government puts small business – reports that its guide to SWOT analysis is the hottest property on the website at the moment.
The office offers a range of useful and popular guides to business, ranging from the basics of marketing to dealing with complex human resource issues. THe information is totally free and relatively in depth.
The information I have included below is from one of six pages about the SWOT analysis tool. This page is a guide to a successful SWOT analysis. The others discuss what it is, when to use it, the benefits and limits of this tool and how to do it as well as a worked example.
Throughout the text there are links to other guides and in-depth information elsewhere on the department site.
Westender thoroughly recommends the site to our business readers and partners in the Chambers of Commerce which we support.
Tips for a successful SWOT analysis
Before conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, decide what you want to achieve with it and consider whether it is the best tool for your needs.
If you decide a SWOT analysis is the best tool, the following tips will help you get the most out of it.
- Keep your SWOT short and simple, but remember to include important details. For example, if you think your staff are a strength, include specific details, such as individual staff and their specific skills and experience, as well as why they are a strength and how they can help you meet your business goals.
- When you finish your SWOT analysis, prioritise the results by listing them in order of the most significant factors that affect your business to the least.
- Get multiple perspectives on your business for your SWOT analysis. Ask for input from your employees, suppliers, customers and partners.
- Apply your SWOT analysis to a specific issue, such as a goal you would like to achieve or a problem you need to solve, rather than to your entire business. You can then conduct separate SWOT analyses on individual issues and combine them.
- Look at where your business is now and think about where it might be in the future, as well as where you would like to be.
- Consider your competitors and be realistic about how your business compares to them.
- Think about the factors that are essential to the success of your business, and the things you can offer customers that your competitors can’t. This is your competitive advantage. It’s useful to keep these in mind when conducting a SWOT analysis.
- Use goals and objectives from your overall business plan in your SWOT analysis.