How to Do a SWOT Analysis and How to Write a SWOT Analysis Report

If you have ever run a corporate office or have gotten employment in such an environment, you probably have come across the term ‘SWOT analysis.’ Maybe you also understand a little about how to do a SWOT analysis. However, it is the first time for a student, or perhaps you were not required to know how to write a SWOT analysis report when you first came across the term. Anyone who knows how to do a SWOT analysis knows that it revolves around evaluating a project or company.

This article discusses in detail the SWOT analysis of a college student. We will also give leads for SWOT analysis examples for students. Read through the entire post to learn about:

  • The SWOT analysis meaning
  • The importance of SWOT analysis
  • How to do a SWOT analysis
  • How to write a SWOT analysis report
  • Where to get a professional to write you the SWOT report

How to Do a SWOT Analysis and How to Write a SWOT Analysis Report

What is a SWOT Analysis?

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These factors define any business or project; hence they are crucial when analyzing it. Therefore, SWOT analysis is a technique used to determine the competitive position of a business or project by focusing on its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Thus, SWOT is an effective tool to evaluate a company no matter the number of people working in it.

A SWOT diagram or SWOT matrix is the critical part of any business analysis or planning. A SWOT diagram, otherwise called a SWOT chart, consists of four boxes, each known as a SWOT box, representing each of the factors used to analyze a business. The SWOT box size or shape varies depending on the design. A SWOT diagram is functional, especially when deciding on embarking on a particular business strategy or venture. It makes it easier to decide on implementing the strategy by outlining its positives and negatives hence helping in making an effective decision.

In learning how to do a SWOT analysis, you have first to understand which of the four factors are internal and which ones are external to a company. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors of a company. These are the things that the company can change because it has control over them. Example SWOT analysis strengths and weaknesses may include employees, intellectual property, patents, and the company/business location.

SWOT analysis threats and opportunities are external to the company—you do not have the power to change them. However, the company can take advantage of the opportunities and cautiously protect itself from threats. Example SWOT analysis opportunities and threats include competitors, material prices, and customer trends.

Importance of SWOT Analysis | Why Do a SWOT Analysis?

From the SWOT analysis definition, you can agree that the technique is useful in analyzing a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In other words, it helps the company build on what it is doing well, address what it is lacking, minimize risks and grab possible chances available to make it succeed.

The importance of SWOT analysis is also applicable in strategic planning. It helps identify the key internal and external influences responsible for the company’s current situation and those that inhibit or favor the prospects of improving its position. The purpose of a SWOT analysis is to develop a business strategy that enables the company or project to cash in on its strengths. Most importantly, it helps create a positive reputation and at the same time improve weaknesses cautiously that can otherwise damage growth.

It is easy to identify the importance of SWOT analysis as it applies in various business sectors while learning how to do a SWOT analysis. The importance is derived from the SWOT meaning. In marketing, for instance, SWOT is essential in identifying a company’s resource strengths and best market opportunities.

How to Create a SWOT Analysis—Who Should Do a SWOT Analysis

To conduct a comprehensive SWOT, you have to learn how to do a SWOT analysis. In other words, you have to master the tips and strategies of conducting a SWOT analysis, the most crucial part being the people who should conduct the analysis. That is when we say that you know how to conduct a SWOT analysis.

For an effective SWOT analysis, both the leaders and founders of the company should be deeply involved. While the task can be delegated to other people, founders and leaders are the most important people because they understand the company’s position better.

You should, however, note that the company leadership isn’t supposed to work on their own. For better results, you need to incorporate people with different perspectives. So ensure to involve people who will represent various aspects of the company—customer service, sales, marketing, etc.

Innovative companies go ahead to include clients in carrying out a SWOT analysis to incorporate a variety of ideas in the procedure. This, too, can work for someone who is running a business on their own. They have to recruit viewpoints from outsiders, friends, their business accountant, and suppliers, who have knowledge about the business. The main idea is to have as many viewpoints as possible. You also need to know how to write a SWOT analysis, as you may need this after conducting the procedure.

When to Do a SWOT Analysis for a Business | How to Do a SWOT Analysis

Knowing when and how to do a SWOT analysis is crucial for any business entity. An existing business can use SWOT to examine its current situation and identify a strategy that will help it move forward. It is advisable to conduct as many analyses as possible because things are constantly changing.

On the other hand, a starting business uses the SWOT as part of the planning process—you have to know how to do a SWOT analysis. It is essential in identifying the best business strategy hence kick off on the right foot and with a clear idea of where you want to be with the business.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis | How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis of a Student

To help students get started with their journey towards knowing how to do a SWOT analysis, we have developed a step-by-step SWOT analysis template. These examples apply to both business and student SWOT analysis.

Although you want to gather as many people as possible with different perspectives in your SWOT, you do not need the entire day to do that. One to two hours are more than plenty.

Gathered ideas of each factor should be analyzed based on Balanced Scorecard perspectives. However, you do not have to use a balanced scorecard to be successful. There are other guiding principles that you can apply, for example, the VRIO framework. The principle emphasizes value, imitability, organization, and rarity, which one can focus on in the SWOT procedure.

1.     Creating a SWOT matrix

To know how to do a SWOT analysis, you must first know how to create a SWOT matrix. A SWOT matrix is a grid-like matrix that houses the information that you collect. In the matrix, each quadrant represents one of the four factors—strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Using a matrix is a convenient and formal way of organizing the data for easy comprehension. Consequently, you have to know how to write a SWOT analysis.

2.     Gather the Right People

As earlier mention, a SWOT should feature the right people who have varied perspectives. Ensure to involve the entire leadership team to acquire a better insight into the organization’s current position and the competitive landscape. Therefore, pull participants from all the organization’s departments.

3.     Brainstorm Ideas

Employ brainstorming techniques to get a picture of where the company currently stands. Note that not all ideas will proceed to the final list, but it is important to consider them all. Think of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to get a clarification of where to place each idea. Strengths and weaknesses are internal, while opportunities and threats are external to an organization.

Let us consider some of the questions you may ask in the process of creating a SWOT analysis matrix:

       i.            How to Do a SWOT Analysis – Strengths

SWOT analysis strengths are positive attributes of the organization. They are internal factors hence within your control. In this section, ask the group what the company is good at and how better is it than its competitors.

The questions must be in relation to the Balanced scorecard perspectives or the guiding principles. So, for school SWOT analysis, for instance, using Balanced Scorecard perspectives, for instance, you can have such questions as:

Strengths of the Finance System: What is the reliable source of the school’s financial growth? How strong is the customer (student) loyalty program? Etc.

Growth Strengths: How successful is the school/college as far as student satisfaction is concerned? Is it the workforce competencies? etc.

Teaching/Learning Strengths: How good is the learning experience in our institution? How well do we appreciate students from different cultures? Do we have a high teaching and non-teaching staff retention rate? etc.

Customer (Students) Strengths: What leads to the growth of the number of students? Why are parents choosing us over other schools/colleges? etc. To present all the points well, you need to know how to write a SWOT analysis.

If you are not doing a SWOT analysis for schools, perhaps for a business, the approach is the same. You can have as many questions as possible to ask while doing the SWOT analysis of a college. For example, what is the competitive advantage of the company over the competition? What physical assets (skills, clients, technology, equipment, etc.) does the company possess? etc. SWOT analysis strengths include competent staff, the company’s intellectual property, technology, among others.

     ii.            How to Do a SWOT Analysis – Weaknesses

SWOT analysis weaknesses are negative factors affecting the company’s strengths. SWOT weaknesses too are internal hence can be improved. In creating a SWOT analysis for college, in the weaknesses SWOT box, you need to know what the college is not good or what it lacks.

Here are some of the questions you might ask the team of participants: What is the institution’s financial weakness? How is the college’s culture a weakness? Is the institution poorly administering its teaching/learning experience? How inappropriate does the institution incorporate effecting teaching/learning aids?  SWOT analysis weaknesses examples include resource limitations, low employee satisfaction, among others.

  iii.            How to Do a SWOT Analysis – Opportunities

SWOT analysis opportunities are factors that contribute to the company’s success. They are external factors, and the company does not have the power to change them. In this section, ask questions such as; Do customers rank the institution highly? Are parents encouraged to keep admitting students to the institution? Are there events the institution may take advantage of to grow?

SWOT analysis opportunities examples for an organization include training programs, new technologies, partnerships, market diversification, and favorable government policies. It would be best if you were keen as SWOT opportunities may be confused with SWOT strengths. Always remember that SWOT analysis opportunities are external factors.

   iv.            How to Do a SWOT Analysis – Threats

SWOT analysis threats are external elements of a company that limit its well-being. Therefore, contingency plans need to be implemented in order to curb them.

At this stage, ask the teammates questions like What threats can impact the company’s financial health? Are the competitor’s loyalty programs more attractive?

SWOT threats examples include emerging competitors, changing regulatory policies, changing customer attitudes towards your company, reduced staff due to layoffs, etc.

4.     Rank the Ideas Gathered | How to do a SWOT Analysis

After organizing the ideas in the SWOT diagram, the next step is ranking the ideas in each SWOT box. To create a prioritized list of ideas, allow every participant to pick a certain number of ideas from the entire list. Write a priority list from the votes after that. One of the participants, perhaps the CEO, should have a final call on the priority list to narrow it down further.

How to Use a SWOT Analysis

At this point, you probably know how to do a SWOT analysis. Perhaps you want to learn how to write a SWOT analysis paper of a company. Before that, let’s see how you can use a SWOT analysis. Ensure to use other strategy tools alongside SWOT analysis to get a clear view of the company situation and how well you can improve the company.

The main aim of learning how to do a SWOT analysis is to be able to formulate strategies that will put a company in a better competitive position. The first step is to consider the strengths and how well the company can use them to take advantage of available opportunities.

Additionally, figure out how these strengths can be used to combat emerging threats. You may also want to identify how you can minimize the company’s weaknesses. Use the list to come up with various actions the company can take. Finally, analyze the list and come up with priority actions.

Having created a list of actions, formulate goals/milestones specifying what you want to achieve with each goal. You may now go ahead and implement the actions.

PEST Analysis

Having known what is a SWOT analysis, we can quickly look at PEST, which is another way of analyzing a business. PEST analysis is a tool used to analyze the economic, social, political, and technological factors that affect its performance and which are external to the organization. Like the SWOT procedure, PEST analysis helps one get a clear picture of changes taking place externally to the organization and figure out how they can take advantage of the occurring opportunities.

Conducting a PEST analysis allows you to do a deeper analysis of external factors, unlike conducting a SWOT analysis. That is why many organizations prefer conducting a PEST analysis.

How to Write a SWOT Analysis

Every business has goals it wants to achieve in the future. To do that, strategies have to be implemented aiming towards achieving the goals of the organization.

Students from respective disciplines are usually taught how to write a SWOT analysis summary to help them acquire the necessary analysis skills. Often, learners are presented with or asked to select a company of their own, generate ideas for each of the four quadrants of the SWOT diagram, and write a SWOT analysis.

To know how to write a SWOT analysis essay, a lot of time needs to be invested in researching and practice. Unfortunately, instructors brush through the topic and sometimes do not give SWOT analysis for students’ examples; you have to look for your own.

After learning how to do a SWOT analysis, the next part is learning how to write a SWOT analysis. We shall consider more of ‘how to write a SWOT analysis of a student. We will also give a lead on where to get SWOT analysis examples for students.

How to Write a SWOT Analysis for Students

At this point, I’m hopeful that you have a clear answer to ‘what is SWOT analysis.’ In general, it helps in planning, developing a business, strategizing the business, and making personal advancements. In addition, writing a SWOT analysis helps one evaluate whether the organizational goals are feasible according to the available resources and needs.

Before commencing writing a SWOT report, it is usually advisable to go through SWOT examples and especially SWOT analysis examples for students. While you can quickly grasp concepts from ‘how to write a SWOT analysis for students’ manuals, you need SWOT analysis examples for students to get you through the actual writing process. You may contact My Course Bay for SWOT analysis for students examples to get a clear picture of what is required of you.

To how to write a SWOT analysis, there are a few things you have to consider—researching, analyzing, and discussing. All this is done in line with the four factors that define SWOT. Listed below is a step-by-step process of doing so.

  1. How to Write a SWOT Analysis – Objective Identification

To create a comprehensive SWOT analysis report, you need to be specific with your objective. For instance, in the SWOT analysis of a college student, consider focusing on one particular aspect of their life.

The best approach to start the SWOT analysis of student life is to create a chart where you can organize your thoughts before doing the actual writing. Ensure to follow the SWOT analysis template stipulated by your university.

  1. Research – How to Write a SWOT Analysis

If you want to get details of the company you are about to analyze, research is paramount. Try to gather as much information and use SWOT examples to the maximum. Note that researching gives you more information like services, employees, among others, that you require to SWOT analyze the company.

  1. How to Write a SWOT Analysis – Drafting the SWOT paper

This is where you start putting your gathered ideas on paper—you definitely know what is SWOT analysis, and you know exactly what you want to discuss. Your writing should include an analysis and a discussion of ideas in each quadrant; strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Whether you are practicing how to write a SWOT analysis about yourself or general student life, being straightforward is critical. Where necessary, support your ideas with necessary evidence. As earlier mentioned, incorporate an example of a SWOT analysis pdf to guide you through the entire writing process.

In a nutshell, learning how to do a SWOT analysis of a college student is quite involving. Besides mastering the procedure of doing the same, you have to invest a lot of time researching. For a student learning how to write a SWOT analysis of college, you have to refer to several SWOT analysis for students examples to master the writing style. However, students are usually too busy beyond academic work that writing a SWOT analysis becomes a challenge. We encourage you to contact professionals for help whenever finishing an assignment proves challenging. My Course Bay offers the best assignment help deal that you do not want to miss. Other students have excelled, and so can you. Outsource us, and it will prove worthwhile.

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