Meanings of SWOT Analysis Part III
Example of a SWOT analysis
A clear SWOT analysis example is the case of a fictitious library, whereby the objective for the sake of simplicity is simply the determination of any need for action. One of the strengths is undoubtedly the high level of information and media skills of the employees. Weaknesses, on the other hand, are the lack of innovation in such an institution and the associated rather old-fashioned image, as well as low financial resources.
Opportunities, on the other hand, are the general appreciation of a library as a place of learning, especially against the background of the increasingly important lifelong learning. In addition, individualization represents an opportunity to develop a monopoly position. Risks, on the other hand, arise from the universally accessible internet offer and, above all, from the diverse range of eBooks, which means that libraries generally enjoy added value.
An example of an avoidance strategy (weaknesses combined with risks) would be the implementation of a fundraising event to purchase a large internet area that is accessible to all – especially with introductory courses for senior citizens. This acts on the weaknesses mentioned and effectively cushions the risks mentioned.
Tools for SWOT analysis
Nowadays there are a number of aids and tools that serve as a template for a SWOT analysis or carry it out in general. An example of this is the publication “The TOWS Matrix – A Tool for Situational Analysis” by Heinz Weihrich, published in 1982. This provides an orientation for the situation analysis as a central part of the entire SWOT analysis.
Apart from that, it should be mentioned that the matrix listed here is already one of the most common tools and can be created by anyone. Apart from that, however, it is indeed advisable to use external service providers who have specialized in such areas for the analysis of the external factors.
Advantages and disadvantages of the SWOT analysis
According to WHOLEVEHICLES.COM, the advantages and opportunities of the SWOT analysis have already been indicated several times. It is a flexible instrument for determining the location of a company within the economic or cultural situation and in comparison to other competitors. Another plus is that a SWOT analysis develops strategies which selectively target the improvement of grievances or the defense against threats. With all of this, users benefit not least from the transparency and clarity of such data collection.
A disadvantage of a SWOT analysis, on the other hand, is that it is a snapshot, so that regular renewal is necessary. In addition, there is a high research effort and the results are always dependent on the factors that you have found or determined yourself. There is therefore always a certain degree of subjectivity.
Common mistakes when doing a SWOT analysis
While a SWOT analysis offers a large number of opportunities and advantages, it should also be mentioned that there is a certain potential for error in the creation. It is precisely this that needs to be considered in advance and the work processes to be optimized accordingly. Common mistakes include:
- Performing a SWOT analysis without a clearly defined goal
- Confusing internal strengths with external opportunities
- Confusing the actual SWOT analyzes (states) with the possible strategies / necessary actions (actions)
- Missing prioritization during the SWOT analysis and thus stagnation in the derivation of strategies and measures
Alternatives to the classic SWOT analysis
As mentioned, the SWOT analysis is associated with a certain amount of effort, especially in terms of the necessary research and the participating staff. In addition, it is the case that such an analysis is generally based on a highly rational view of the respective conditions and, as a rule, equally rational strategies and measures are taken. This is one of the risks of a SWOT analysis.
Therefore, it should not go unmentioned that sometimes alternatives in the sense of a more reactionary and dynamic approach are valued. Marketing in particular plays an important role, with the aim of analyzing public perception and customer opinions in as much detail as possible. This ultimately results in any necessary actions to improve the position of a company or to optimize productions and work areas.
The definition of the SWOT analysis results from the acronym of the title. Strengths (strengths), weaknesses (weaknesses), opportunities (opportunities) and threats (risks) are taken into account in this analysis and, in combination with one another, enable promising strategies. These can either go in the direction of a mere increase in profit or mean an effective defense against possible threats. Decisive for the meaningfulness of a SWOT analysis is always the objective to be defined in advance as well as the success control afterwards by means of key figures.
In order to carry out all the actual analysis, little technical effort is generally required, but human resources and a certain amount of research are required. As a tool or basis for the analysis itself, a simple matrix has proven itself, in which the internal strengths and weaknesses as well as external opportunities and risks are linked.
The SWOT analysis convinces users not least because of its simple and flexible usability. This applies, among other things, to companies, companies, non-profit institutions or even individuals. Depending on the reference, this results in, for example, a marketing instrument, a measure for general business planning or an opportunity for very individual career planning and personality development.