Each organization or business has to deal with both internal and external factors that affect them.
When conducting SWOT analysis we focus on the organization’s internal factors (Strengths and Weaknesses) which then guides in the identification of the external factors (Opportunities and Threats) .
With each organization we customize the questions we ask based on the industry, and customer base and environment within which the organization operates. We believe a SWOT analysis has to be realistic with achievable goals for the organization to pursue. Here are the types of questions we may ask:
Strengths(Internal factor / Positive influence)
- What are we best at?
- What intellectual property do we own that can help us with this objective?
- What specific skills does the current workforce have that can contribute to this objective?
- What financial resources do we have for reaching this objective?
- What connections and alliances do we have?
- What is our bargaining power with both suppliers and intermediaries?
Opportunities (External factor / Positive influence)
- What changes in the external environment can we exploit?
- What weaknesses in our competitors can we use to our advantage?
- What new technology might become available to us?
- What new markets might be opening to us?
Weaknesses (Internal factor / Negative influence)
- What are we worst at doing?
- Is our intellectual property outdated?
- What training does our workforce lack?
- What is our financial position?
- What connections and alliances should we have, but don’t?
Threats (External factors / Negative influence)
- What might our competitors be able to do to hurt us?
- What new legislation might damage our interests?
- What social changes might threaten us?
- How will the economic cycle affect us?