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Need a strategy? Run a SWOT analysis! (Marketing tool)

Don’t know where to start to develop your company or your project?

The SWOT analysis is a perfect tool to analyse your project and its environment to make better decisions regarding your strategy.

It can be applied to many different objectives around developing a company or a project, whether it is the launch of a new product, a geographical expansion or the development for mobile device for example.

In this article, we will present you how to run and use a SWOT analysis. We will keep it simple, we target here people who do not have a marketing background. Here at Visual Link, we have marketing specialists in our team who can further help you with your business decisions: you can contact us for further advice.

What a SWOT analysis stands for

It is a table to organize and analyse your company and its environment. It concentrates on 4 factors:

  • Strenghts: internal factors that will be helpful to reach your goal
  • Weaknesses: internal factors that may be harmful to achieve your goal
  • Opportunities: external factors that will be helpful to reach your goal
  • Threats: external factors that may be harmful to achieve your goal

Internal factors are related to your company: your team, your product, your current positioning, your reputation, your organisation, your network, your capabilities, your limitations…

External factors are related to your environment: your market, your competitors, political, economical, social, technological, legal or environmental for example.

It will give you a great overview of your product/project/company and its position on the market, but also a way to overview what can possibly happen in the close future.

How to build a SWOT

First, define your goal. Try to have different people concerned by this goal to work all together in building the SWOT: different areas of expertise can bring different ideas and knowledge. Some prior research and then a brainstorming are efficient to fill the SWOT analysis.

Make sure you consider all the 4 factors:

  • Strenghts will help you to identify what you can surely count on for the future of your project
  • Weaknesses will help you to identify what you can improve internally to increase the success of your project
  • Opportunities will help you to evaluate the viability of your project and what you can focus on
  • Threats will help you to identify the risks in the development of your project, so you can better control them

How to define a strategy from the SWOT

When you have finished your SWOT analysis, you have compiled and organized information that can be a basis to build a strategy. The SWOT will not give you a strategy: it is a tool to help you make decisions for your strategy. With the SWOT, you can get a global vision of what you should focus on and what the risks are for your product, your project or your company. You can also better allocate your budget while thinking of your strategy and create SMART objectives aligned with your goal.

Examples of strategies defined from a SWOT analysis:

  • Focus on Strengths and Opportunities:  you can exploit the internal strengths to seize the opportunities in the environment. It is an offensive strategy for expansion.
  • Focus on Weaknesses and Opportunities: you can improve your weaknesses to exploit opportunities in the environment. It is a defensive strategy for expansion.
  • Focus on Strengths and Threats: you can use your internal strengths to protect and minimize threats from the environment. This is a defensive strategy.
  • Focus on Weaknesses and Threats: you can minimize your weaknesses to be less vulnerable to external threats. This is a strategy of diversification or re-positioning.

You can contact us for further advice!