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SWOT Analysis Writing: 3 Steps to a Professional Paper

When a person starts a business, he or she wants to know whether it is profitable or not. SWOT lets businessmen find out possible risks and benefits of the initiated plan. People ask experts to provide detailed analysis and be able to see all possibilities and failures they might face.

SWOT Analysis Example: What Is That and How to Do That?

First, you may think that the word sounds too weird and complicated, but it is just an abbreviation. ‘S’ stands for strength. It is a synonym to positive sides and advantages. The next letter is ‘W’, and it means weakness. This part helps business holders understand possible difficulties one might have to cope with. The third letter is ‘O, and it means opportunities. For example, what chances does Google have to surpass all the other search engines and make AOL and Yandex users prefer its service? The last letter stands for threats. This part includes rivals and risks leading to failure or bankruptcy.

Now, SWOT doesn’t sound so strange. You can understand how important this report is in marketing and how an average company benefits when asking for TOWS analysis. Is it easy to examine NESTLE or any other organization? Actually, it is not, but there are some useful tips that can assist in successful writing. Experts recommend following these three steps to be able to compose a competitive analysis.

Develop your strategy.

The meaning of the word “strategy” is a plan of actions, and one creates it trying to succeed in a concrete area. It has a goal and requires methods to achieve it. Here you should answer the 4 main questions:

  • How can you make the company more powerful?
  • What organizational and management elements make the organization vulnerable?
  • In what way can the business holder win the competitors or at least increase the income and influence on the market?
  • What external factors threaten the company’s success?

These questions will help the company win if the answers hit the purpose. It means that only qualitative analytical research can bring the desired result.

Be ready to research, analyze, and discuss things.

Students usually look for the necessary information on the Internet. They visit the official websites of the chosen companies to learn as much as possible about them. Nevertheless, it often turns out to be not enough. The assessment must be full to let a client see the perspective for development and improvement. That is why you should be ready to find out what rivals are there and why they are more or less successful. Moreover, it is important either to interview customers or to investigate feedback pages concerning a concrete product on various sources.

There are 6 main things you will have to analyze. These are the object itself, for example, Samsung, its environment (the current situation and personal chances for success), clients (including online shopping), stakeholders, team, and opponents like Apple or Xiaomi.

Create a chart of ‘4’.

You can do it using a simple piece of paper and pens of different colors or any device which will let you create a good visualization of four components. Microsoft tools like Word, PPT, PDF, and Excel fit this task perfectly.

S: China Unicom is a trustable mobile service in China that almost has no rivals. Each second citizen of China uses its service not only for mobile connection but also as the speedy Internet provider. W: Fares are rather high, and the Chinese prefer China Mobile due to its affordable prices for tariffs.
O: China Unicom can become a monopolist thanks to lower fares and lower prices for the lost-card revival (now it’s 600 RMB). T: China Mobile and alike mobile services can ‘steal’ clients.

Note! The data about China Unicom is taken from the Internet. These are only foreign customer’s reviews and suggestions.

This table is simple and lacks deep research, but it gives an opportunity to see the format. You can also try another variant and create the TOWS Matrix. The only difference is in the focus of each estimating document. SWOT aims to manifest advantages and disadvantages within the company or organization. The target of TOWS is to present possible risks and chances for improvement paying more attention to external factors.

You can also combine some elements to have a better understanding of the problem and be ready to find an excellent solution. For example, you could try to combine strength and weakness to see if it is real to benefit from threats turning them into strength.

Personal SWOT Analysis: Best Samples to Study and Follow

One can create a worthy document only if he or she has seen high-quality examples. We will present samples about trendy companies for each component.

Strength (positive inside characteristics)

ZARA is an idol of cool fashion with a pocket full of brilliant ideas. Many designers work for ZARA, making it popular and desired. Compared to Lululemon that provides only yoga clothing, it specializes in many items, including not only clothes but accessories as well. It has more than 2200 stores around the world, which bring approximately $16 billion each year.

Opportunities (external benefits)

Ikea is getting popularity in big cities. The great importance is to concentrate on countries which population is huge like China. Today there is a trend of following foreign fashion in this area, so the company can benefit. What’s more, hand-made products are to be also eco-friendly, and the pricing policy should fit customers’ demands. This will help to catch up with the TOP list companies like McDonalds and Walmart. Online shopping and involvement of the leading social network platforms like Facebook, QQ, WeChat will create a favorable environment.

Weakness (negative inside characteristics)

Nike produces high-quality sneakers for different age groups. It has stores around the world with an accent on American cities. Nevertheless, it mostly depends on retailers and does not deal with wholesalers to increase income because of high prices. Increased prices stand for the brand, just like in the case of Adidas, but there are many copies that have better income thanks to both wholesale and retail trade.

Threats (external factors)

Coca Cola is not only an alcohol-free beverage but also a symbolic American drink. When it had appeared, everyone wanted to find out its secret recipe. As soon as it was revealed, a great number of other drinks appeared. Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, and other similar sodas lead to decreased sales and make the company spend more on advertising. It can result in low income, and soon it can be replaced by “new generation” drinks.

SWOT Meaning for the Companies and Customers

Many articles in newspapers and magazines link to ratings. Journalists usually use a diagram to show the rating and total income of chosen objects. Such sources become powerful armour in the hands of SWOT makers. Today there are a great many rivals in the restaurant (Starbucks), healthcare (Pfizer), service (Netflix), nursing (Trustaff), and trade (Costco) business. Consequently, both businessmen and investors must know how to compete, and customers must take the benefit of enjoying the chosen product or service. That is why SWOT analysis must reflect each essential detail in order to avoid mistakes and collapse.

Where to Find SWOT Matrix Worksheet for Free?

You can find a model of SWOT and TOWS analyses on various websites. They are free, and you can have a visual example of the required format with fields where you can make notes. You may easily download them on your laptop, tablet, mobile phone, or computer to use and change when necessary.

SWOT Table: Things to Analyze in 4 Components

A table contains an analysis of key elements that favor and harm business. What are they? The list is long but mostly it concerns financial background, possible cooperation (like between Boeing and Southwest Airlines), key leaders and supporting members of the team, programs for the staff, physical and human resources, intellectual property, reputation, competition (like Ford and Tesla rivalry), cultural environment, workflow, potential for growth, and trends in economic, market, political, governmental spheres.

Companies differ. One’s strength is in intellectual property, and another one has excellent physical possession (buildings and location). These features might compose the weakness of other companies. That is why you should research, discuss things with your clients and partners, and analyze each element to be sure that the SWOT table includes everything required. It will prevent you from failure and guarantee success.

Importance of SWOT Analysis: Resources to Study

Those who create such analyses help to explain core problems and amelioration issues to both starting small and already existing big business holders like Chipotle. If you want to initiate something but are afraid to make a mistake or wrong choice, there are professional agencies that will do it for you. Still, you may practice and study the following resources to sharpen your SWOT skills.

Finally, don’t forget to research the official website of the company if you create it for someone, or it is your academic homework.

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