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SWOT Analysis: What it is and how to do it in your company (with template)

The SWOT analysis is a tool that takes its name from the acronym formed by the acronym “Weaknesses, Threats, Strengths and Opportunities”. These 4 elements make up an analysis matrix whose objective is to determine the position of our project or company in its competitive environment.

It can also be called a SWOT analysis because of the order used in the term SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).

The four factors are arranged in two blocks of analysis: internal and external. In this way, we can obtain an orderly and realistic view of the competitive advantages of our company and its potential threats. Its objective is to be able to draw a more precise strategy, based on the data of the study.

The SWOT analysis is one of the tools most used by entrepreneurs, not only because of its extreme simplicity, but also because of its great utility in providing us with a global vision of the competitive capacity of our project both internally and externally.

Next, we will explain the meaning of the elements in the SWOT matrix and add examples. In this way you can have a clear vision of how to do a SWOT analysis in a company :

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External analysis: Threats and Opportunities

These are facts, events and situations in the environment beyond our direct control. Obviously, these condition the evolution of our entrepreneurial project. Depending on their positive or negative impact, we will classify them as an opportunity or a threat respectively.

What factors are the object of study?

  • Demand: Defines our target audience, its characteristics and behavior when making purchases. But also general aspects, such as the size of the market, various segments within it or the evolution of demand or market trends.
  • Sector: carry out a study of companies, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and potential customers.
  • Competition: Identify and evaluate current and potential competitors, both online and offline. Analyze products, prices, points of sale, promotion (do the 4 p’s of the marketing mix sound familiar to you?), Etc.
  • Environment: Take into account factors that we cannot control. The economic, political, sociological, technological reality, … of the country where we produce our goods and services. But also where we market them or we want to expand.

Example of Threats and Opportunities

As the most common external components, we can find the degree of concentration or dispersion of the competition, the entry barriers to new companies in the market, the weather conditions of the region in which we are going to establish ourselves. We can also examine institutional stability, the structure of the demographic pyramid and its correspondence with our target audience, or a long etcetera that varies depending on each project, activity sector and region.

For example, the great threat to Canarian companies that want to sell their products on the internet is the existence of a tax regime that heavily taxes the entry and exit of goods in the region. E l famous case of the DUA in the Canaries.

While an opportunity for new entrepreneurial projects, it may be the possibility of establishing yourself in a coworking space . In this way you can reduce costs, but also create synergies and alliances that give rise to new products and services.

Internal analysis: Weaknesses and Strengths

They are elements that can be controlled internally , in the case of resources, capabilities and limitations that define our competitive advantage in the market.

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They are easier to detect than external elements and we have numerous examples such as financial capacity, infrastructure endowment, professional skills of the project members, efficiency of the production process , level of quality or level of customer satisfaction, among many other factors. .

Your task is to identify the weaknesses or strengths within your company that cause a disadvantage compared to your competitors . To do this, it is best to carry out an exhaustive analysis of the company and define its fields of action. As a general rule, a company can be divided into the following activities:

  • Production : Productive capacity, manufacturing costs, quality standard.
  • Marketing and distribution: Product line, corporate image, online and offline positioning, advertising, market share, prices, distribution, promotions.
  • Sales: Sales team, customer service, purchasing process, after-sales service.
  • Organizational structure : Organization chart and structure of the company, decision making, business culture.
  • Human resources: Selection of personnel, salaries, continuous training, motivation of workers.
  • Finances: Debt ratio, treasury, credits, profitability, liquidity.
  • R + D + i: Research and Development. Technological innovation, patents.

Examples of strengths and weaknesses

A common weakness of many entrepreneurial projects (SMEs) is not having a constant online marketing strategy over time. Taking into account that users increasingly use their computers and mobile devices to search for information before making a purchase, not using this channel is going to be an obvious weakness for your company. The search engines , they’re one of the most powerful sales channels today!

On the contrary, if we serve the majority of startups , having a strong digital presence is usually one of their strengths , since they usually offer their products through their online store.

Once we have all these elements identified, we can order them in an array like the following:

The key to SWOT analysis is in the interpretation

The best thing about SWOT is its high dynamism and the capacity for improvement it brings to our project.

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If our organization is critical and flexible enough, it may be able to take advantage of its main strengths and reduce its weaknesses over time, as well as convert external threats into potential market opportunities.
The SWOT analysis converts external threats potential opportunities for our project.
It is important to say that the SWOT analysis in a company is complementary to other feasibility and competitiveness studies of our project. Its less numerical nature obliges not to consider its conclusions as final until each of the elements that make up the SWOT matrix are justified with verified objective information. Such as statistics, financial accounts, reports and other quantitative mechanisms.

For this reason, the self-critical spirit, the ability to recognize the mistakes made and the vocation for continuous improvement are essential values ​​within the business culture of our project to develop a SWOT matrix . Only in this way, we can benefit when drawing a more precise strategy based on the results and conclusions provided by this tool.

SWOT analysis is a very powerful tool that every new entrepreneurial project must use, and that it must be incorporated into any business plan. This is possibly the most recommended and mandatory tool of all the ones we will see in this series, both for its simplicity of application and for the value of its results. In addition, it is advisable to apply it at the beginning of your entrepreneurial project and that you keep it updated over time.

Free online SWOT Matrix template

How could it be otherwise, we have prepared a free template of the SWOT matrix, which you can use for your entrepreneurial projects. Just make a copy of the document on your Google Drive and start using it!

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Startup News

New OnePlus 9RT: Specs, launch date, colors revealed

OnePlus hasn’t said how much RAM the 9 RT will feature, however Geekbench has shown that it will sport 12GB of RAM. However, an 8GB variant will almost certainly be available.

Shenzhen [China]: The OnePlus 9 RT’s launch date and specifications have been revealed by OnePlus ahead of its official announcement.

According to GSM Arena, the OnePlus 9 RT will go on sale in China on October 13, or next week.
Although the new OnePlus smartphone will be unveiled in China first, it is expected to make its way to India as well. In India, the OnePlus 9 RT has yet to be announced.

The Snapdragon 888 SoC will power the OnePlus 9 RT, which will be paired with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. It will have a 120Hz E4 screen and a 4,500mAh battery that will charge at 65W. The primary camera on the 9 RT will be 50 megapixels.

OnePlus hasn’t said how much RAM the 9 RT will feature, however Geekbench has shown that it will sport 12GB of RAM. However, an 8GB variant will almost certainly be available.

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The phone maker also revealed that the 9 RT will be available in two colour options: black and grey, and that pre-orders will begin on October 13 in China, with the first sale on October 19.

We’re still four days away from the launch, so expect more information regarding the OnePlus 9 RT in the days leading up to it.

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Meaning of CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, CTO and CMO: Calling each executive by name

The adoption of business terms and technicalities from English-speaking organizations is increasingly widespread, and acronyms that describe executive positions are often favorites when used by those responsible for the areas of the company. The use of acronyms such as CEO, COO, CIO, CTO and CMO has become widespread, both in more traditional organizations such as startups and other technology-based companies.

But what is the meaning of these acronyms?

If we pay careful attention to its definition, we will see that the meaning of CEO and the rest of the management figures of companies are much simpler than you thought.

What is the CEO of a company?

The CEO of a company is the acronym corresponding to the acronym for Chief Executive Officer, which in Spain we usually know as CEO or Executive Director. He is the head of administrative management and direction in the company.

Who is the COO?

It comes from the Chief Operating Officer and can be translated as Director of Operations or Chief of Operations, responsible for the daily operations of the company such as production, logistics, etc.

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What does CFO stand for in English?

CFO is the abbreviation for Ch IEF Financial Officer. In our business culture it corresponds to the Chief Financial Officer and his responsibility is the economic and financial planning of the company based on the objectives established by the board of directors, generally made up of those responsible for each area that we are analyzing in this post.

What is the CIO of a company?

It comes from the acronym for Chief Information Officer. Their role is attributed to the person responsible for the company’s information technology systems and usually falls into different professional profiles depending on the organization’s structure. Thus, the position of CIO may be the counterpart of the systems manager, although there is ambiguity in its implementation and it is often confused with the CTO, which we explain below.

What does the acronym CTO stand for?

It is the abbreviation of Chief Technology Officer and it is usual to give it the same treatment as the system manager in an erroneous way by many companies. The main difference is that while the CIO is responsible for the company’s information services at the process level and from the planning point of view, the CTO is the technical person in charge of the development and correct operation of the information systems from the point of view of execution.

What is a CMO in a company?

It corresponds to the acronym of Chief Marketing Officer and its translation in our business language is that of Marketing Director as the head of sales and product development, among other functions.

Its application in practice is different according to the structure of each organization, and there may be various combinations in the hierarchy of these executive positions. In general, the meaning of CEO of the company falls on the highest part of the organization and has as subordinates the executives responsible for each area, who report directly to this CEO to make his decisions. However, in other organizational models, the position of CEO held by its president as the visible image in communication and public relations of the company, delegating the highest decision-making authority to the COO.

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The meaning of CEO extends

This definition nomenclature of executive positions in companies does not end here. Many of these terms did not exist a few years ago, and the increasing specialization of departments in large organizations gives rise to new positions, which after the meaning of CEO and the other positions that we have seen evolve into new figures such as the CSO (Chief Science Officer), CCO (Chief Commercial Officer), CLO (Chief Legal Officer) among many other definitions of executive positions.

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Coworking: Need or Opportunity?

Many times when it comes to undertaking we see that there are a great multitude of impediments that stop our initiative.

One of the most obvious, especially in times of crisis, is financing. That is why a work modality called coworking has proliferated in Spain for a few years. But what is coworking?

The foundation of coworking is to bring together professionals from different fields in the same space where they can develop their activity, which means significant cost savings. In other words, it’s like having roommates with whom you share expenses.

Surely, you have heard a friend talk about a coworking space, collaborative work, cost savings, … So far great, but the philosophy that underlies this type of work is even broader. The work tends to be increasingly multidisciplinary and many times, as entrepreneurs , we cannot cover the requests of a potential client.

We are going to put an example. Let’s imagine that we are a freelance professional specialized in Online Marketing and we have several accounts as a Community Manager.

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As you are self-employed, but you are not motivated either by being in your pajamas all day locked at home listening to music, or worse, some gossip program that they give in the morning on TV – not to mention going to work in a library where the WIFI is slower than on your first Smartphone – you decide to try a coworking space where you have all the comforts for a small price and from which you can always “run away” if things don’t go well for you.

One fine day comes the opportunity to create a Social Media plan for a company. Within this Plan the creation of a corporate blog, the creation of videos,… to which you obviously answer: “no problem!” Is contemplated, since it is an opportunity that you cannot miss.

Once you dismiss the client, you sit in your chair and a cold sweat starts to run down your forehead thinking “now how do I do all this?”

From its programming, database creation, corporate identity creation … to the creation of promotional videos and a long etcetera.

Suddenly you raise your head like a meerkat in the African savannah and you see Nika, that nice girl who is a web designer and a little further on you see Alfon, that “compi” with whom you go out for beer on Fridays when you finish ” currar ”and it turns out that in addition to working as an illustrator, he has a hobby which is making videos, especially for his friends, and on top of that, it’s really good!

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Et voilá! You already have a fully qualified team to carry out your project… and who knows if a future company. This idea is what underlies the coworking philosophy : Being able to create flexible collaborative environments that adapt to the needs of projects or clients.

Obviously, cooperative work has its advantages and disadvantages. Creating a multidisciplinary team for a project can be complicated, since managing the team is not an easy task when the participants do not share a mutual philosophy or common goals. Therefore, it is important to create a team that complements each other both on a human and professional level, and above all that wants to move the project forward.

From my own experience, if you want to develop your own project and do not have funding , it is better to make it very clear to the participants the delivery times and what their role in the team is. Otherwise, you will end up spending more time trying to coordinate people than working directly on your project.
“Luck is what happens when preparation and opportunity meet and merge.” Voltaire

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