The SWOT analysis is a business analysis technique that your organization can perform for each of its products, services, and markets when deciding on the best way to achieve future growth. The process involves identifying the strengths time series analysis pdf ebook weaknesses of the organization, and opportunities and threats present in the market that it operates in.

The definitions of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are open to interpretation and a weakness of the SWOT technique is that it can be highly subjective. For example, if your organization was dependent on one single large distributor then this could be seen as a strength, as you would be able to get your products into the market quickly and efficiently. However, it could also be seen as a weakness because you are totally dependent on them to do so. The internal analysis of your organization should include its culture, expertise, resources, and unique qualities within the market place. The extent to which your organization could adapt to changing circumstances is also a factor that needs to be considered.

External factors include the environment your organization operates in, its market, ecosystem, and all of the third parties involved. Matching uses competitive advantage to pair strengths with opportunities. Converting means converting weaknesses or threats to strengths or opportunities. Matching and converting are useful ways of looking at the output from the SWOT analysis but both require a lot of debate and analysis rather than instant answers. This example uses the international car manufacturer Audi to illustrate how the SWOT analysis can be applied at the organizational level. It is a well-known and popular example that is frequently used to illustrate SWOT in action. Do you know how you stand when compared to the competition?

If not, you need a quick and easy way to analyze your competition. The completion of a SWOT analysis should help you to decide which market segments offer you the best opportunities for success and profitable growth over the life cycle of your product or service. I couldn’t understand the benefits of using this analysis until I read this book because it broke things down for me in an easy to understand way. I knew what SWOT stood for, but failed to understand what the specifics were regarding each letter. As far as a company’s Strengths were concerned, I knew what to jot down for that section. The same goes with Weaknesses because I was able to identify where my small company lacked, so I wrote those down.

The problem I was having was with Opportunities and Threats. I was unable to understand whether I should list internal or external opportunities and threats to complete this analysis. This book guided me with a very straightforward approach to the subject. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors over which an individual has measure and control.

Opportunities and threats are factors which are external, over which an individual has no control. When I figured out this is what a SWOT analysis is about, it made me realize how valuable it is. Another useful thing this book taught me was that this analysis can be used to guide strategy at the highest level and can also be tied to a specific business objective. I always wondered whether I should use the SWOT analysis for short term goals, and this book answered my question. Now I use this tool for a wide range of issues concerning my business, whether it is approaching another small business for a merger, or if I should launch a new product line.

One place I thought this book could improve is by giving real examples. I have always learned quickly when examples are put in front of me. So, if Free Management Books could take the time out to present some case studies about real companies, I think that I would be willing to pay for the book then rather than download it for free. I’m sure that other readers of this book have the same to say. But overall, great job on the book guys and thanks for finally making me understand what the SWOT analysis entails.