What are the benefits of a SWOT analysis?


Quick Answer

Providing a visual overview, promoting discussion and being fast and flexible are the benefits of a SWOT analysis. It analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a business leading to a discussion about the business's situation and strategy.

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Full Answer

The SWOT analysis provides an overview of the position of a business. For example, it shows how the number of opportunities compares to the number of threats facing a business or how the strengths compare to the weaknesses.

A SWOT analysis promotes discussion. It does that by having people discuss the main strengths and weaknesses of the organization and then move to defining the threats and opportunities. However, listing things and not thinking strategy can derail the discussion; having a strong facilitator can prevent that from happening.

A SWOT analysis is fast and easy to do. Through a single meeting, the management can conduct an analysis of the entire business strategy and vet ideas brought forward by different members.

The analysis is flexible. The management can use it to drill into specific segments such as sales, marketing and production and at the same time use it to guide the business strategy session. That helps in seeing how the strategy developed from the SWOT analysis can filter to the different segments before making the decision to commit to it. Also, the management can work from the bottom upwards and perform a segment-specific analysis that leads into an overall SWOT analysis.

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