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How do you carry out a SWOT analysis?

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Quick Answer

Carry out a SWOT analysis on a business by conducting a thorough inventory and examination of its internal structure and organization to find its greatest strengths and weakness, either as a whole or in a specific area. The process also involves research on competitors to identify the areas in which the company may improve and to detect any possible threats to its operation.

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Full Answer

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This analysis model involves a comprehensive investigation into the structure of a company and its current competition to solve existing issues, make plans for future growth, and identify any upcoming complications or issues from external forces. The process begins with an introspective look at the company's operational structure and current state to identify its greatest strengths, such as an effective sales team or a comprehensive logistics department. It then shifts to an honest evaluation of the company's weaknesses, which the company can use to create plans for improvement.

The second half of the analysis involves research into the competition and the current landscape of the industry in order to understand the environment and make the appropriate moves going forward. The opportunities section of the analysis combines analysis of competitors with the information from the weaknesses section to make actionable and competitive plans to improve those areas while matching the strengths of other companies. Finally, the threats analysis requires the company to consider how its competitors may affect its market share as well as examine other changes in the industry and plan ahead accordingly.

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