SWOT Analysis – Importance and Need

For those who are not aware of SWOT, it stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat and an analysis of all these factors is done for any new product, service or company. I have come across many business plans without a SWOT analysis. People probably underestimate the power of such an analysis. A good SWOT analysis gives you a top-view of the entire business plan, even before the actual business plan is made. Done with sincerity and honesty, this analysis can help you with:

Product Definition: Once you have clearly identified the target segments and understood their attributes, you will probably take a harder look at your product. A good understanding of whom you are trying to sell your product to would help to define the product better and position it appropriately.

Identifying Inherent Deficiencies: We all think our product is good and that it can definitely deliver benefits to the customer. But the longevity of a product is not in what it can deliver now but how it delivers it, will what it delivers continue to be a need and what more can it deliver over time. This analysis is critical to have a predictable and scalable business plan.

Defining Target Markets: Identify your opportunities and the impediments to maximize those opportunities would help in a more comprehensive Go-to-Market plan. You may just end-up realizing that there are more avenues for generating revenues than the ones you had thought of or may end up taking a re-look at your target market itself.

Understanding Key Market Attributes: Demographic, geographic, social and cultural attributes of your prime markets could seriously affect your overall business plan. Getting to identify these important factors could help to develop a more complete product offering and a marketing plan, to target specific needs that may have otherwise missed your attention.

Competitive Analysis: In trying to define your threats you would be forced to do some more work towards understanding your competition and where your product stands in comparison. Getting to know the reasons for your competition’s success or failure would only help you in making your offering more robust.

Identifying Threats Other Than Competition: Direct competition may not be the only threat. For example, the watch industry’s biggest threat is the mobile phone, with more and more people using this ubiquitous device to also check time. So, such an analysis would help you to do more homework to address such competitive variants and build your competitive barriers.

Any start-up should first do a SWOT of what he intends to create before even attempting anything. This will help him/her to validate most of the assumptions that had been made while planning the enterprise and enable focused efforts leading to meeting objectives.

The author, Srikanth Vasuraj, is a Business Consultant focused on helping start-ups to grow. He can be reached at +91-98454 78585 or srikanth@nodiva.co.in . Please visit www.nodiva.co.in for more information.

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