SWOT analysis is a good start point in business. The point of SWOT analysis is to help you develop a comprehensive business strategy after considering the key aspects of your business. Doing business is not easy, but with a step-by-step analysis, things can get done when a complex task is divided into several small parts. Let’s begin the SWOT analysis of a global sports brand D in XMind. 

What is a SWOT analysis

SWOT, as you might have guessed, is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and Threats. So a SWOT analysis is an organized list of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business.
Strengths and weaknesses are internal, you can change them over time with your efforts, while opportunities and threats are external and more objective, you cannot change them as you like.

Begin to conduct a SWOT analysis

Before you dive into the complex analysis, it’s suggested to hold a brainstorming session with your colleagues, and keep asking yourselves the questions related to different aspects of you company.
For the brainstorming session, use the brainstorming mode in XMind, and group your ideas by S, W, O & T.

Questions to ask during the analysis

The Strengths

The strengths are your internal positive factors, you should consider them from these aspects:
• What do you do well?
• What internal resources do you have?
(the positive attributes of people like the knowledge, background, or the tangible assets of the company like the capital, credit or the distribution channels.)
• What advantages do you have over your competition?
• Do you have any strong research and development capabilities? Manufacturing facilities?
• What other positive aspects, internal to your business, add value or offer you a competitive advantage?

The weaknesses

Compared with the strengths, weaknesses are the internal negative factors of your businesses, you should consider them from the following aspects:
• What factors that are within your control detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge?
• What areas need improvement to accomplish your objectives or compete with your strongest competitor?
• What does your business lack (for example, expertise or access to skills or technology)?
• Does your business have limited resources?
• Is your business in a poor location?

The opportunities

When it comes to the external factors, the opportunities are positive ones which manifest why and to what extend your business is likely to prosper.
• What opportunities exist in your market or the environment that you can benefit from?
• Is the perception of your business positive?
• Has there been recent market growth or have there been other changes in the market the create an opportunity?
• Is the opportunity ongoing, or is there just a window for it? In other words, how critical is your timing?

The threats

As for the threats, they are the key negative factors to which you should pay much attention. They seem to be too objective to keep in control, yet the thing is, you don’t need to “control them”, you can prepare in advance by having contingency plans, and even turn them into opportunities if the plan is enough smart.
• Who are your existing or potential competitors?
• What factors beyond your control could place your business at risk?
• Are there challenges created by an unfavorable trend or development that may lead to deteriorating revenues or profits?
• What situations might threaten your marketing efforts?
• Has there been a significant change in supplier prices or the availability of raw materials?
• What about shifts in consumer behavior, the economy, or government regulations that could reduce your sales?
• Has a new product or technology been introduced that makes your products, equipment, or services obsolete?

If you open the SWOT template in XMind, you’ll find that questions you need to consider are well prepared. All you have to do is to replace them by your answers.

Here is a brief SWOT analysis for a global sports brand company D:

Developing Strategies from your analysis

Once you have identified your SWOT results, you can develop strategies for your business. The point here is to maximize your strengths and take advantages of the opportunities while minimize the negative effects. One way is to come up with ways to use your strengths and opportunities to make up for your weaknesses, and try to avoid the threats.

For instance, company D is not as agile as the e-commerce retailers, however, it possesses a world-wide fame and strong confidence from a large number of customers, so it chose to open an online shop in one of his oversea market, and owned millions of visitors in just one week thanks to its fame and stable offline audience. The products sold in its online shop have the same price (still low) as in the offline shops, so the online shop will not affect the offline sales but only bring convenience to people who prefer to shop at home, thus leading to better total sales.

To wrap up, a SWOT analysis explores the different aspects of the business factors you need to consider about, and you should develop corresponding strategies by taking advantages of your strengths and opportunities to make up for / avoid your weaknesses and threats.

Download this template

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