SWOT Analysis: An Essential Part of Market Analysis

SWOT analysis is a business assessment tool that can used to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is a useful technique for market analysis and can be applied to various aspects of a business, including its products, services, and overall market position. The acronym SWOT stands for:

Strengths: The strengths of a business are its positive internal attributes, such as unique products, experienced personnel, strong brand reputation, and advanced technology. These are the areas where the company excels and has an advantage over competitors.

Weaknesses: The weaknesses of a business are its negative internal attributes, such as high overhead costs, outdated technology, low employee morale, and limited resources. These are areas that need improvement in order to remain competitive.

Opportunities: The opportunities of a business are external factors that can be leveraged to achieve success, such as new market trends, untapped customer segments, and advancements in technology. These opportunities can be used to create new products, enter new markets, or increase sales.

Threats: The threats of a business are external factors that pose a risk to its success, such as increased competition, changes in consumer preferences, economic downturns, and technological disruptions. These threats must be addressed and managed in order to minimize their impact on the business.

The results of a SWOT analysis can be used to help evaluate and make informed decisions about the future of the business.

Resources for creating a business SWOT are provided below.

SWOT Analysis Example

Source: Astra Space Inc. – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT)

Research Sources

  • SEC filings
  • Investor websites
  • Business intelligence services
  • Corporate websites
  • Social media, e.g., LinkedIn
  • Financial market analyst reports
  • News media
  • Industry conference presentations and papers
  • Justi and PACER for litigation information
  • Corporate press/news releases
  • Financial websites
  • Government market studies and reports
  • Space enthusiast websites
  • Industry market reports
  • Government procurements websites, e.g., sam.gov
  • Industry associations websites

Typical Topics to Research

Research areas by quadrant:

  • Strengths (+)
    • Competitive advantage
    • Experience and knowledge
    • Unique selling points
    • Resources, assets, data
    • Product innovation
    • Product or service price, quality, or value
    • Financial resources
    • Marketing
    • Location or businesses site
    • Processes
    • Organizational culture
    • Brand recognition/ good name
    • Partners
    • Investors
  • Weaknesses (-)
    • Lacks in competitive strength
    • Limited capabilities
    • Unknown presence in the industry or reputation not established
    • Limited financial reserves
    • High start up costs
    • Limitations on research and development capability
    • Lack of management expertise
    • Tight timelines for implementation
    • Challenges for raising capital
    • Geographical position
  • Opportunities (+)
    • Demand in the market
    • Strong establish relationships with partners
    • Niche market
    • Customer needs have changed
    • Government deregulation
    • Discovered alternate uses for the product/service
    • Competitors not responsive to the gap/need
  • Threats (-)
    • Litigation
    • Market size/demand unproven
    • New disruptor technology developments
    • Dependent upon suppliers to provide service/product
    • Staff recruitment
    • Key staff attrition
    • Accident
    • Competitors
    • Economic downturn
    • Legislation
    • Regulatory changes
    • New competitors entering market read new value propositions
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