What is SWOT Analysis?


Introduction of SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for: Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. A SWOT analysis guides you to identify your organization’s strengths and weaknesses (S-W), as well as broader opportunities and threats  (O-T).

A SWOT analysis can offer helpful perspectives at any stage of an effort. You might use it to:

  • Explore possibilities for new efforts or solutions to problems.
  • Make decisions about the best path for your initiative. Identifying your opportunities for success in context of threats to success can clarify directions and choices.
  • Determine where change is possible. If you are at a juncture or turning point, an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses can reveal priorities as well as possibilities.
  • Adjust and refine plans mid-course. A new opportunity might open wider avenues, while a new threat could close a path that once existed.
  • SWOT also offers a simple way of communicating about your initiative or program and an excellent way to organize information you’ve gathered from studies or surveys.

SWOT analysis can help the following people.

 Students
 Managers and Owners
 Professionals, Executives
 Career Starters
 Practitioners and HR
 Doctors and Engineers
 Employees
 Husband and Wife
 Parents


The main purpose of a SWOT is to promote the identified strengths, reduce weaknesses, exploiting the opportunities and having contingency plans to minimize threats.

There are many benefits and advantages of using SWOT Analysis for personal development. It is good for your success and betterment. Some of the most common benefits of conducting a personal SWOT analysis have been mentioned below.

 Helps to develops strategies to attain your goals
 You can be better than your friends and colleagues
 Shows where you currently stand on the path of success
 Measures your scopes of reaching desired goals
 Boosts your career, life and personality
 Helps to better understand who you really are as a person
 Maximizes your strengths and diminishes your weaknesses
 Explores and also enhances your soft skills and hard skills
 It helps you understand your preferences and personality traits.
 Focuses on your attitudes, abilities, skills, capabilities and capacities


Strengths in SWOT Analysis:

These are the traits or skills that set you apart from others. Questions to ask include:
 What benefits do you have which others do not have? This could include skills, education, or connections.
 What are you better at than anyone else?
 What personal resources do you have access to?
 What do other people see as your strengths?
 Which achievements are you most proud of?
 What values do you believe in that others fail to show?
 Are you part of a network no one else is involved in? What connections do you have with powerful people?

Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis:

This part examines the areas in which you need to improve and the things that will set you back in your career. Questions to consider include:
 What work do you usually avoid because of lack of confidence?
 What do people think you weaknesses are?
 Are you happy with your education and skills training?
 Do you have any negative work habits?
 Which of your personality traits hold you back?

Opportunities in SWOT Analysis :

For the opportunities section, look at the external factors you can take advantage of to pursue a promotion,
find a new job or determine a career direction.
 What new technology can assist you?
 Can you take advantage of the market in its present state?
 Do you have a network of strategic contacts to offer good advice or help you?
 Is any of your competitors failing to do something important? Can you take advantage of it?
 Is there a need in your company which no one is filling?
 Could you create an opportunity by offering solutions to problems?

Threats in SWOT Analysis:

This part takes into account the external factors that could hurt your chances to attain your goals. The factors to take into account include:
 What hindrances do you currently face at work?
 Is any of your co-workers competing with you for projects or roles?
 Is your job changing?
 Can technological changes threaten your position?
 Could any of your weaknesses lead to threats?

Example of SWOT Analysis :

SWOT tool used by a small independent book store:

 Our workers are well educated
students who love books
 The space is attractive and inviting
 Customers are supportive of small book store
 Popular cafe makes it easy for customers to linger and find something to buy.

 Space is tight
 Bank gave us a limited loan
 Business is slower during summer vacation

 We can have local authors give lectures and book signings.
 We can make personalized recommendations to long term customers
 We can deliver the same day to mobility impaired customers
 We can feature things that appeal to summer tourists
 We can start a frequent buyer program

 Large chains have more buying power
 E-books and e-book readers
 Younger generations don’t read as much
 Nearby public library reopened after two years


Hurlock, E.B (2006). Personality Development, 28th Reprint. New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill.

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