Every self-respecting student of a management faculty has to be able to write quality essays that will consist of:
- needed information (facts, data);
- deep understanding of a described material;
- logical conclusion, suggesting the directions of a future research;
- adequate referencing;
- and the ability to demonstrate one’s analytical skills in practice.
In that regard, we decided to provide a kind of information suitable for writing an essay on such topic as SWOT analysis as far as this method is an indispensable thing to know. So, let us begin with general information on a discussed topic. For example, you can mention some facts from the history of a discussed method. It will give a hint what will be discussed further in the essay. The most important thing is to formulate a paper’s thesis in a concise and at the same time informative manner.
Starting a new venture was always risky. There are various aspects that enormously affect an overall success. Moreover, there are hard to notice pitfalls that can ruin even the most stable campaign. In that regard, in 1963 in Harvard, at a conference on the problems of business policy, prof. K. Andrews first publicly announced the acronym SWOT.
Since the 1960s and up to this day, it has been widely applied in the strategic planning process. With the advent of the discussed model, analysts received a strategic planning tool for their intellectual work. The discussed analysis allowed to formulate known but disjointed and unsystematic notions about the firm and the competitive conditions in the form of a logically coordinated scheme of interaction.
TIP: Remember that all notions and abbreviations must be defined or fully written when they are used at the first time.
- Strengths implies the pros of an organization;
- Weaknesses refers to the cons;
- Opportunities are the circumstances of the external environment, the use of which will create the advantages for an organization in the market;
- Threats are the factors that can potentially worsen the position of an organization on the market.
The highlighted points allow to systematize all available information and, seeing a clear picture, make well-considered decisions regarding future development.
The further point of your essay has to demonstrate a practical implementation of a discussed method. For example, you can draw a picture showing where the discussed method can be used and how. It will show that you can apply it by yourself.
Company's Marketing Plan
A mentioned analysis is an intermediate link between the formulation of the mission of a venture and the definition of its goals and objectives. Everything happens in the following sequence.
- An owner of a firm defines the main direction of the development of their company (its mission);
- Then he/she weighs their forces and estimates the market situation to see if he/she can move in that direction and how to do it better;
- After that, he/she sets goals for their company considering its real capabilities.
So, after carrying out the discussed analysis, an owner will be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of their venture, as well as the situation on the market. This will allow him/her to choose the optimal path of development, avoid hazards, and make the most efficient use of the resources at their disposal, along with the opportunities provided by the market.
Even if an owner is sure that he/she is well aware of everything, it is advisable to conduct a discussed analysis, since in this case, it will help structure the available information about the venture and the market and to take a fresh look at the current situation and the prospects opening.
How to Conduct
In general, carrying out of the discussed analysis comes down to filling the matrix. In the appropriate cells of the matrix, you must enter the demanded aspects of a venture.
S of a venture are what it has succeeded in, or some feature that provides an owner with additional opportunities. It can be in the experience he/she has, in the access to unique resources, the availability of advanced technology and modern equipment, high staff qualifications, high quality of owner’s products, the popularity of a brand, etc.
W of your venture are the absence of something important for the functioning of the venture or what an owner is not yet able to do compared to other companies, and it puts him/her in an unfavorable position. As an example of the weaknesses, such things can be named:
- too narrow range of products;
- a disrepute in the market;
- a lack of financing;
- a low level of service, etc.
O are favorable circumstances that a business can use to gain an advantage. As an example of them, such factors can be named:
- a deterioration of the position of competitors;
- a sharp increase in demand;
- the emergence of new technologies for the production of firm’s products;
- an increase in the income of the population, and so on.
It should be noted that the possibilities are not all the opportunities that exist on the market, but only those that a specific enterprise can use.
T are events that may adversely affect a venture. Examples of market threats:
- the entry of new competitors to the market,
- an increase in taxes,
- changes in customer tastes,
- a birth rate decrease, etc.
NOTE: The same circumstance for different enterprises can be both a threat and an opportunity. For example, for a store selling expensive products, the growth of household incomes may be an opportunity, as it will lead to an increase in the number of buyers. At the same time, for the discounter store, it can become a threat, as its customers with a rise in salary can come over to competitors that offer a higher level of service.
So, we determined what should be the result of the conducted analysis. Now let us talk about how to come to this result.
Where to Get Information for the Analysis?
In fact, most of the information necessary for the discussed analysis is already at an owner’s disposal. Basically this, of course, data about the strengths and weaknesses of his/her venture. All what an owner needs to do is to collect all these uncompiled facts (by considering the accounting department’s reports, as well as the production and sales departments, talking with the employees who own the necessary information) and putting them in order. It will be better if an owner can attract a few key to collect and analyze this information, since it is easy to miss an important detail.
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Of course, information on the market is somewhat more difficult to obtain. But even here the situation is not hopeless. Here are a few sources from which you can get useful information:
- Results of market research, reviews of a specific market, which are sometimes published in some newspapers and magazines;
- Information on the population, mortality and fertility rate, sex and age structure of the population, and other useful data;
- Finally, all the necessary information you can get by ordering a marketing study from a specialized company.
Every good essay needs a strong conclusion that will not only list a discussed points but highlight the importance of their mentioning. Moreover, the conclusion is such a part of your essay where you can express your speculations on a topic and suggest what else must be discussed. Read the example below.
The analysis discussed in the essay is no doubt a determining influencer when it goes about the development of every venture. It gives the opportunity to see the prospects and avoid dangerous ways. Consequently, it is highly advisable to implement it at different stages of business development.
The tool discussed in this article is a simple and all-encompassing strategy. If you combine it with other models of analysis, then thinking in this framework will give you the right direction for making decisions. In addition, it is worth analyzing such spheres as political, social, technological, missions of your company, its strategies, and tactics.
Such analysis helps solve a large number of questions. But holding it without first knowing your goals, indicators and strategies for implementing changes will be ineffective and erroneous.