Starting a new business or a new service offering within an existing corporation requires careful consideration. Many new business ventures fail not because they are bad ideas, but because owners fail to address the environment in which their new venture will take place. A realistic look at the marketplace and its opportunities will help guide efforts and prevent being derailed by the unexpected. An important tool used by most analysts and successful entrepreneurs alike is the SWOT analysis. Even though its name may sound ominous, in reality it is a very easy exercise to streamline the positive and negative factors affecting the business. Using a Business SWOT analysis template will dramatically simplify the process.
In simple terms SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Creating a diagram, each category will list the pertaining information so the user can review the space in which the new business venture is most likely to succeed. Strengths and weaknesses are inherent to the business process itself, while opportunities and threats refer to the business environment as a whole, i.e. those things that are hard to control. At its core using a business SWOT analysis template should help you find that place where your offering maximizes its strengths while minimizing threats. Ideally, this is the quadrant where the venture is most likely to succeed.
SWOT analysis does not have to be exclusively for a new initiative. In reality, one can apply the concept by using a business SWOT analysis template at any time, particularly if there is an expectation of change in any of the business variables. A SWOT exercise at any point in time allows for a review and reconsideration of factors so leadership can correct the course if needed. In order to facilitate your own process, examples of business SWOT analysis templates are included here.