SWOT analysis is one of the most common ways to analyze business situations. Organizations can use it to gain a competitive advantage, but so can individuals and teams. SWOT analysis lays out a holistic look at the strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O), and threats (T) of a situation.
In conjunction with other techniques, a company can use SWOT analysis to leverage its strengths and capabilities to eliminate threats and improve weak areas. In addition, individuals can use this method to motivate themselves with personal improvement goals.
If you’re stuck on what to include as strengths, this post will get you started. You will find some examples of strengths for SWOT analysis that can be used as a starting point.
Table of Contents
Strengths are what you’re good at. A company’s strengths set it apart from its competition. To put it another way, strengths are the resources or capabilities an organization can utilize to achieve its goals.
Great Customer service
Customer service is a crucial part of any business. Good customer service not only makes your customers happy but also makes your business look good. It requires an organizational culture that rewards and promotes going above and beyond for customers.
It’ll boost customer loyalty and satisfaction. Plus, it builds stronger relationships with your consumer base, which can give you an edge. More often than not, you can use your customer service skills to explore new market opportunities.
As an example, if your competitor has a strong social media presence, you can train your customer service team to ask customers for more online reviews. Of course, customers will respond to that kind of request if you’re known for providing excellent customer service.
Positive employee experience
A study showed companies with the best employee experiences reported up to 25% higher customer satisfaction and more profit. Employee engagement is how committed employees are to their company. Highly engaged employees are a huge competitive advantage.
Talent is attracted to world-class workplaces. So, employee experience should be a strategic priority for any company, according to an MIT study.
An engaged workforce can help companies improve areas like customer service, technology, and process improvement.
Strong brand identity
It’s important for any business to have a strong brand identity. Your visual identity, values, and perceptions make up your brand.
A strong brand identity helps you stand out from the competition, build trust and loyalty, and influence buying decisions. It helps you build a lasting relationship with customers.
For example, suppose you already have a strong visual identity for your business online. In that case, you might be able to use that to expand your online offerings.
Strong financial performance
Everyone knows a business must be financially stable, but why? When a business is stable, it has sufficient funds to pay employees and grow. It also allows access to external resources readily available to explore other opportunities.
You need proof of your financial stability to borrow money from a lender, investor, or business partner.
If you want to position your business to increase market share through acquisitions strategically, your financial strength becomes crucial again.
Advantageous physical location
Your business needs a good location. You’ll lose prospects if your business location is too far from your target audience. Your location influences your competition, taxes, and regulations. It also helps businesses establish a brand and attract the right talent.
Your location could be influenced by your supply chain. Local suppliers can deliver faster and get you more business. The advantage of having your business in prime locations is something you should think about when developing your business strategies.
Technology lets businesses compete in the global market. Small manufacturers can save money and meet customer demands faster with automation and lean manufacturing. In the wake of the pandemic, digitalization has presented new opportunities for businesses to expand and diversify.
By embracing innovation, businesses can increase productivity, reduce costs, increase competitiveness, increase brand recognition, form new partnerships, and simply make more money.
By investing in technology, McDonald’s provided more value to their customers and made sure they stayed loyal. The company has found a way to meet the needs of the younger, tech-savvy consumers with self-serve kiosks and mobile apps. However, some of its competitors are still struggling with it.
Businesses that are successful in their home markets can expand and get new customers. By expanding internationally, a company can cut costs and reduce its reliance on the domestic market.
FedEx Trade Index 2016 shows international trade may help small businesses hire more people and grow faster. You can also boost your company’s reputation at home and abroad by doing international business.
Disney is one of the biggest companies on the planet. Their expansion of theme parks and resorts has allowed the company to take advantage of its highly unique brand recognition and popularity of its animated movie characters.
A loyal customer is someone who chooses one company’s products and services over their competitors. It’s the result of meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Even the biggest marketing budgets can’t compete with positive word-of-mouth from customers.
Companies that offer referral programs have seen 86% more revenue growth over the past two years. You can expand your lead pipeline by having loyal customers. Customers love loyalty programs, especially if they are rewarded for referring their friends and family.
McDonald’s, for instance, has a lot of loyal customers who appreciate their fast service and affordable prices. According to a Customer Edge Insight survey, 64% of customers said they’d come back to the restaurant.
Apple invests heavily in customer loyalty. As a result, apple customers are the most loyal in their industry, and 87% of them will buy from Apple again.
A traditional organization is built around a static, siloed hierarchy. In contrast, being agile means, you can think and act faster than any highly structured organization.
Organizations that are agile have cultivated a culture of rapid learning and decision-making. As a result, these companies rethink their processes, structures, and governance mechanisms to find the right balance between speed and stability.
In 2015, GE, a global company, overhauled its performance management. This led to a more agile structure. GE engineered a new system based on regular feedback and performance conversations. The new GE app lets employees set priorities and get feedback. Additionally, they can give real-time feedback to others.
Best-in-class business software applications
When you go through an ERP implementation, you’ll realize that your company is at a turning point. Depending on the success of the implementation, it could be good or bad.
If leaders don’t manage risks proactively, ERP implementations can fail. But if it was a success, there are plenty of ways to get value from your investment.
ERP systems improve communication among employees and save time, money, and resources. You’ll be able to identify trends and patterns. With daily data, teams can stay on top of things.
LG needed an ERP system that could fix their pain points. So the company installed Oracle EBusiness Suite to run its global operations. The project spanned five years and brought a lot of benefits.
LG Electronics replaced multiple HR systems with an integrated system using Oracle Human Resources. In addition, it standardized processes to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
With this single HR system, 82,000 employees in 39 countries are integrated. By updating employees’ details and letting them track their performance, LG Electronics improved productivity and efficiency and cut HR costs worldwide.
ERP systems, when used correctly, always provide various ways to cut costs and improve operations.
Economy of scale
The bigger a company is, the cheaper its products and goods will be when it comes to economies of scale. More production means more opportunities for cost savings. Larger businesses can charge less than smaller ones because of economies of scale.
Any time a company achieves economies of scale, there can be multiple growth opportunities. It leads to cost savings in manufacturing, purchasing, distribution, and financial areas. Purchase economies of scale allow you to negotiate for per-unit cost advantages with your suppliers where a smaller business may not be able to do so.
Economies of scale let supermarkets buy in bulk and lower average costs by delivering thousands of items. Walmart’s economies of scale come from bulk buying, which lets it negotiate better prices with suppliers. Walmart’s size allows it to get not only lower prices but also cut the distribution costs.
Highly integrated supply chain
The integration of supply chain functions creates cohesion and increases connectivity throughout the entire value chain. As a result, supply chain activities become more streamlined and efficient.
Integrated supply chains can reduce waste when teams work together instead of uncoordinated efforts. In addition, with centralized data, companies can run advanced prescriptive and predictive analytics workflows to find areas of inefficiency within existing operations.
P&G, for example, has focused on integrated production, inventory, and logistics, reducing the need for surge capacity. This helped the company reduce costs, meet customer demand, and build strong, coordinated relationships with retailers.
Sustainable business model
A sustainable business model can be maintained in the future without compromising the quality or availability of the products or services. Such a business model scales well. Also, it’s resistant to socio-environmental trends.
The company Proctor and Gamble is reinventing its brand management to make sustainable consumption a priority. P&G’s approach to sustainability is smart and uses its brand reputation. It’s all about reducing environmental impacts and promoting sustainable behaviours.
Best quality control practices
Quality control helps you make quality products that meet consumer expectations. It builds trust, reputation, and recognition.
On the other hand, adopting the best industry quality control protocols in your business will create a quality-focused culture.
Quality control is essential in ensuring products comply with standards. Compliance lets the company access more markets. Plus, it helps to get accredited.
If you’re using quality control best practices in your products and services, you can pursue ISO and other industry certifications.
By ensuring the highest standards in quality management, Coca-Cola makes sure its products are consistent and reliable. Safety and quality guidelines are continually being evaluated by the company. It helps to ensure that the manufacturing and supply chain meet world-class standards.
Coca-Cola follows one global standard across all of its bottling operations, and each ingredient is tested for safety. The company has adopted ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 SGS standards.
First mover advantage
A company that enters a new market or launches a new product can benefit from the first mover advantage. First movers have a chance to benefit from untapped markets, but they need strong marketing, distribution, and production capabilities.
A fast-growing market can make the first-mover advantage virtually irrelevant. But, on the other hand, it is an advantage in slow-growth markets.
Uber was the biggest ride-sharing company in 2009. Despite a bad patch starting in 2016, they still have a huge market share. Uber keeps growing despite bad press and lawsuits. It’s because they’ve got a multi-pronged loyalty marketing strategy that rides on their first-mover advantage.
Uber is famous for innovative special offers like delivering kittens and letting people ride with famous musicians. In addition, customers who ride frequently can benefit from their loyalty program. In the US, Diamond members get the best drivers and premium support.
What if we could do the same amount of work with half the effort? What would happen to a company’s profits and productivity levels, you ask. Studies show that the best companies are 40% more productive than their peers. That’s why some companies are obsessed with productivity! It’s about producing the same output with less.
It means spending less on wages and other costs, which leads to more savings overall.
When a company finds a new way to produce more quickly, and for less money, they improve their efficiency. Once you find that formula, you’ll be able to compete on price.
A great way to increase worker productivity is to create a culture of autonomy and accountability.
It’s not an exhaustive list. The following are some additional examples of strengths for SWOT analysis.
List of other strengths
- Large market share
- Leadership in product innovation
- Low-cost manufacturing
- High integrity
- Accurate forecasting
- Expertise in complex projects