SWOT might sound like something you do to a gnat, but at White Media Agency it’s a local business marketing analysis that enables us to understand your external and internal influences that could be the key to your success.

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  This analysis is best suited prior to developing a strategic plan or initiative for your business or services.

Use the SWOT analysis to identify new business options, to grow your footprint in the marketplace, to evaluate current strategies and to understand any possible obstacles posed by competitors, regulators, and the like.

Understanding Strengths & Weaknesses

The first two letters of the acronym, strengths and weaknesses, refer to internal factors such as resources that affect the company from within that you can control.  For example, strengths such as patents, location or proximity to natural resources or current processes like employee programs and benefits packages.  Anything that originates internally or basically that you can control that can either give you a competitive advantage or decrease your edge in the market would be part of the “SW” in the analysis.

Understanding Opportunities & Threats

The last two letters, opportunities and threats, sound optimistic and ominous with good reason.  Generally speaking, these two areas are considered external from the company and you would likely have no control over these areas manifesting themselves in your marketplace. For example, opportunities may come available that include great publicity from a project or finding an underserved segment of the market to address.  You cannot necessarily control whether or not those opportunities will come to fruition, but you should aim to create the opportunity anyway.  In turn, when thinking of threats such as additional regulations or increased safety concerns by the community, you can’t control those things but you should recognize the possibility within the analysis.

What’s at stake?

Not fully examining a SWOT analysis has the ability to sidetrack or derail a strategic plan if not identified and addressed properly.   The SWOT should support decisions and provide a framework for action.  Be sure to include team members and relevant stakeholders in the process for a well-rounded analysis.

This can be helpful in all sorts of areas and for a variety of goals, whether that’s small business marketing, video production strategies for your personal brand, or developing social media platforms to capitalize on your audience.

Take it a step further and consider a personal SWOT analysis for personal and professional development.  Leverage your own SWOT to a better YOU.