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Some Questions to Ask During a SWOT Analysis _ Rob Berman's Blog

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  September 21st, 2010 by Rob BermanSeptember 21st, 2010 by Rob BermanLeave a reply »Leave a reply » Some Questions to Ask During a SWOT Analysis The recent post SWOT Analysis: A Powerful and Underutilized Tool [http://www.rob-berman.com/swot-analysis-powerful-underutilized-tool/] was very popular and generated some terrific comments. This postis a follow-up with a list of questions to ask during your SWOT Analysis.SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The goal is to examineinternal (Strengths & Weaknesses) and external (Opportunities and Threats) elements of a business. If thereare multiple product lines or lines of business the SWOT Analysis can be defined more or less narrowly asnecessary.Many thanks to my friends at Bloggers Helping Bloggers [http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=2697773] and especially to Bruce Serven [http://bruceserven.com/] who suggested many of these questions STRENGTHS: 1) What are your assets?2) Which asset is strongest?3) What differentiates you from your competitors?4) Do you have immensely talented people on your staff?5) Is your business debt free or have a better debt structure than your competitors?6) Do you have a broad customer base?7) What unique resources do you have?8 Do you have a sustainable competitive advantage?9) Do you have specific sales or marketing expertise? WEAKNESSES: 1) What areas do you need to improve on?2) What necessary expertise/manpower do you currently lack?3) In what areas do your competitors have an edge?4) Are you relying on one customer too much?5) Do you have adequate cash flow to sustain you?6) Do you have adequate profit levels?7) Do you have a well of new ideas?8 Are you over leveraged (too much debt)? OPPORTUNITIES: 1) What external changes present interesting opportunities?2) What trends might impact your industry?3) Is there talent located elsewhere that you might be able to acquire?4) Is a competitor failing to adequately service the market?5) Is there an unmet need/want that you can fulfill?6) Are there trends emerging that you can profitably service?7) If you package your product differently, can you extract a higher premium for it?8 Can you take advantage of the historically low interest rates to refinance your debt? THREATS: 1) Is there a better equipped (funding, talent, mobility, etc) competitor in your market?2) Is there an entity who may not be a competitor today which could possibly become one tomorrow?3) Are your key staff satisfied in their work? Could they be poached by a competitor?4) Is your intellectual property properly secured (trademarks, copyrights, firewalls, data security plans, etc) against theft & loss (both from Rob Berman's Blog Propelling Marketing Ideas  photo © 2008 jean-louis Zimmermann[http://www.flickr.com/people /40911451@N00] | more info[http://www.flickr.com/photos /40911451@N00/3055831696]  (via: Wylio [http://wylio.com] ) Some Questions to Ask During a SWOT Analysis | Rob Berman's Bloghttp://www.rob-berman.com/questions-to-ask-during-swot-analysis/1 of 608-11-2014 07:23 AM  35 comments35 comments Add your commentAdd your comment internal & external sources)?5) Do you have to rely on third parties for critical steps in your development process that could possibly derail your delivery schedule?7) What if your supplier runs out of product and you experience an extended stockout or shortage?8 What if there is a natural disaster?9) What if your customers go bankrupt?10) What if your website is hacked?11) What if you are sued? The Takeaway Ask the tough questions during a SWOT Analysis to best understand the nature of the environment your business or product line faces. Then,take action on your findings. Those are the ideas. What do you have to add? Please comment below. 1. What other questions would you add to the list?2. Do you find SWOT Analysis to work best with a set of questions or with a free flowing conversation?3. Will you change your approach now that you have seen a list of questions to use during your next SWOT?If you would like to contact me, you may do so by visiting my [http://linkd.in/d37qnn] LinkedIn page [ http://www.linkedin.com/in/rcberman/ ] ,following me on Twitter [http://www.twitter.com/rcberman] , or e-mailing me at rcberman2 (at) yahoo.com.Related posts:SWOT Analysis: A Powerful and Underutilized Tool1. Another 20 Questions A Manager Should Ask Themselves2. 20 Questions A Manager Should Ask Themselves3. 17 Print Advertising Effectiveness Questions4. Previous Entry: 20 Reasons For Issuing a Press Release Next Entry: Cranky Consumer or Bad Customer ServicePosted in StrategyTags: Rob Berman StrategyYou can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Feed. You can leave a response , or trackback from your own site. Reply  Benny Meservy Great post. I think SWOT analysis needs to be applied varyingly depending on the industry in which you are, but as an overall tool for industry analysis for businesses, itsvery useful.  November 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM  Reply  Adatguru This is the post which really help us making good and valuable SWOT analysis. Thank you!  June 8, 2013 at 10:22 AM  Reply  Lidia Thanks for the info. Found it helpful. Am changing careers and all this is very new to me. I am writing an assignment (that refers to SWOT) & need advice..can I ask for your assistance? Advice?ThanksLidia  September 26, 2012 at 7:47 PM  Reply mercy The information’s are provided very useful and are very interesting.  June 16, 2012 at 4:12 AM  Some Questions to Ask During a SWOT Analysis | Rob Berman's Bloghttp://www.rob-berman.com/questions-to-ask-during-swot-analysis/2 of 608-11-2014 07:23 AM  Reply  Shyam Hey its a great help for me Thank You. Currently we are working on the SWOT for our Business Intelligence Product. What Sort of Questions can we ask For a ProductSWOT??  May 17, 2012 at 2:24 AM  Reply Umair Many thanks for ur kind information sharing here for the help of growing people in the management field.  April 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM  Reply swot  SWOT is a very good and relatively simple framework. It certainly makes you feels about who you are as a company and where to go. Here is a good image of the swotanalysis that nicely summarizes it all: http://ygraph.com/chart/1404  April 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM  Reply  Shahzad Qamar Interesting and Useful information. What more questions are possible for a political Party’s SWOT? Please Guide  December 2, 2011 at 10:18 AM  Reply  Mike Some interesting questions to includehave you considered using:PEST or PESTLE for Opportunities & ThreatsandPRIMO-F for Strengths & WeaknessesI Find these are powerful frameworks that help to ensure a level of balanceMikehttp://rapidbi.com/created/swotanalysis/  April 22, 2011 at 10:40 AM  Reply  Rob Berman Mike:Thanks for stopping by. I sure would like to learn more about your ideas you stated above. I am always looking for new ideas for posts on SWOT since they are so popular. Would you be interested in writing one?Thanks,Rob  April 26, 2011 at 9:52 AM  Reply  Mike Morrison Hi Rob, sorry just noticed the message – for some reason I missed the alert!happy to write something for you. ping me an email if you have any preferences of directionMike  June 8, 2012 at 2:59 AM  Reply  Jay After we use the SWOT, what is the next step? How to become a planning or strategy?  March 28, 2011 at 12:05 PM  Some Questions to Ask During a SWOT Analysis | Rob Berman's Bloghttp://www.rob-berman.com/questions-to-ask-during-swot-analysis/3 of 608-11-2014 07:23 AM  Reply  Rob Berman Jay:After the SWOT you should dig deeper into the opportunities and brainstorm ideas around them. I have two posts dealing with Brainstorming that wold be helpful.http://www.rob-berman.com/14-ideas-to-achieve-brainstorming-success/ and http://www.rob-berman.com/more-brainstorming-tips-for-success/. Rob  March 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM  Reply  Ariel  I guess I have a question about SWOT, I am in the process of expanding our youth program for a small nonprofit that wants to expand services and apply for new grants for the program, which also possibly means developing new services for youth in our area. If I use the SWOT model and we just have a general goal of improving the lives of the youth in our community is our SWOT session going to be useless? I would like to see what our community members and other agencies or stakeholds would like to seein the way of services before we decide to expand services and apply for grants. I really don’t want to be duplicating services or offering services that other agencies areoffering for youth and families. Does that make sense? I just wonder if before we have a big SWOT meeting with all the agencies and stakeholders in the community if weshould focus our goal(s) more?  January 24, 2011 at 4:39 PM  Reply  Rob Berman Ariel:I am on the Board of two non-profits. One works with Youth. You ask some really good questions. It would be easier to have a conversation. I will separatelye-mail you to discuss.Rob  January 24, 2011 at 11:04 PM  Reply Catherine Lockey Thanks so much for posting the SWOT analysis questions Rob – I’m going to go through them with my Art Director. I’ve never done a SWOT analysis on my business andam looking forward to it.  January 21, 2011 at 12:54 PM  Reply  Rob Berman Catharine:You are welcome. There are a total of three posts on SWOT that might help you. Please drop me a line if I can answer any questions or help you in the exercise.Rob  January 21, 2011 at 1:15 PM  Reply laura hunter What a great list of questions! Always thought that type of analysis was suited to a bigger company but these questions can also apply equally well to a sole proprietorship.Came up with some interesting perspectives on my own business as I read through the list. Thanks! October 2, 2010 at 7:27 PM  Reply  Rob Berman Laura:It would be great if you would share a perspective or two with all of us. Thanks for reading. Please take a look at the earlier post on what is a SWOT Analysis. It isa hyperlink in this post of can be found on my home page.Rob October 5, 2010 at 9:53 AM  Some Questions to Ask During a SWOT Analysis | Rob Berman's Bloghttp://www.rob-berman.com/questions-to-ask-during-swot-analysis/4 of 608-11-2014 07:23 AM
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