Since this is a ventures course, we decided to use a business framework to evaluate current social media platforms used for professional development and tease out new opportunities in this market. SWOT allows one to easily identify an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. After identifying factors in each of these categories for existing products in a specific market, an analyst will have a much better idea of what opportunities are available. They might target an existing platform’s weaknesses, avoid the strengths of the competition (or initiate them), or exploit current opportunities and threats.
While using the SWOT framework, it’s important to keep some key questions in mind.
In this category of the framework you should focus on what makes the company excel at their chosen business. More importantly, this category should emphasize internal strengths for the company. If the positive aspect you are considering is external (e.g. customers really like tailored information) it is an opportunity. Key questions:
- What do you offer better than the competition?
- What business stream brings in the most revenue or profit?
In this category of the framework you should focus on what activities the organization performs at a lower level than the competition. More importantly, this category should emphasize internal weaknesses for the company. If the negative aspect you are considering is external (e.g. customers really dislike poor customer service in general) it is a threat. Key questions:
- Where do you lose money?
- What does my competition do better?
- What are customers or employees always complaining about?
- What are the market trends?
- What are customers asking for?
- Are there new customer bases you can pursue, or can you expand your offering for current customers?
- What related service are your customers purchasing from someone else and not from you?
- What are your competitors doing to acquire your customers, or customers similar to yours?
- What is going on in the economy?
At the end of the day, SWOT is one of many tools, and just helps you to keep organized.
Content adapated from: How to Use a SWOT Analysis to Blast Your Business Out of Complacency by Alyssa Gregory.